As far too many in the community can attest to, the impacts of ALS are devastating, not just for the person diagnosed, but their family and loved ones as well. And while every ALS journey is different, each family’s story reminds us there are moments of peace, love and joy to be shared when people come together to find a way.
Jared Salomon lost his father to ALS in October of 2020 when he was just 29 and planning his engagement to his now beautiful wife, Maryn. While his father was not around to physically attend his wedding, he was there in spirit and left an amazing gift for his family and friends; a memory that will live on and be cherished forever.
On October 2, 2022, in honor of his father, Jared shared this heartwarming post on social media:
“Emotional post alert!
Today marks 2 years since the passing of my father. I’ve been waiting to share this story and video, but I think today is no better time. About 6 months before my dad passed away, Maryn and I sat my parents down after dinner while we were visiting them. We had exciting news to share with them that we wanted to get married.
This wasn’t as simple as just telling my parents. We knew my dad's symptoms from ALS were very aggressive and deep down, knew he wouldn’t be alive for our wedding. We had the difficult decision of asking my dad to write a speech for us, whether he would physically be there with us to read it, or be watching us spiritually from above.
As difficult a conversation as it was, I knew my dad wouldn’t ever miss an opportunity to embarrass me and give everyone listening a good laugh. If anyone knew my dad, they knew he had a unique sense of humor.
October 2, 2020 was the day my dad lost his fight with ALS.
A few months had passed, and no one knew if my dad wrote a speech. We searched the entire house, his personal computer and nothing was found. Our last bit of hope was that it was on his work laptop that we could not access. By a glimmer of hope, my brother, Mikey Salomon, posted a giant note on dad's laptop saying, ‘please search hard drive for a wedding speech,’ and mailed it back into his office.
That computer eventually made it to an office in San Francisco. By some miracle, an employee saw my brother's note, and searched the hard drive and the only document saved on the desktop was the speech. The IT guy then sent us the speech in early 2022. The story doesn’t end here.
After roughly 6 months of being diagnosed, he completely lost his ability to speak. Early on, thanks to education through The ALS Association and Team Gleason, we learned of a process to save the use of his voice.
Mikey was able to use dad’s voice and speech to make a meaningful last gift from Dad. Please take the time to listen to my dad’s words. Maryn and I watched this video for the first time with all of our closest friends and family during our rehearsal dinner (4.28.22), the night before our wedding.
I love you dad and miss you so much.”
We reached out to Jared to thank him for sharing his special moment with us and his community and he let us know that Mikey is now using his dad’s voice to record children’s books for his 8-month-old nephew. “That way his grandfather can still have an impact on his life,” Jared said. “I think it’s important for other families affected by ALS to know there are still some very special memories to be made.”
Special thanks to Jared Salomon and his family for allowing us to share his heartwarming story with the ALS community.