"My mom is the best person I know. I love her more than words can describe."
Brandi Costa, was filled with shock and sadness upon hearing the news. Her mom, Sandra Swords, the rock of the family, received an ALS diagnosis in May 2020. Brandi immediately went into research mode to find out how to best provide care for her mom's needs. Brandi describes her mom as selfless, caring, and as someone who wears her heart on her sleeves. As Brandi was growing up, she recalls her mom cared so much for her, her siblings, her dad, and many other children as a home daycare provider. "We could always count on her to give us a big hug and tell us it will all be okay," Brandi recalls.
Brandi says she has her days when she is angry, other days where she is heartbroken, and days when she is in "get it done" mode.
"Right now, we just try to surround her with love and support as we all go through this tough journey together, and now it is my turn to remind her it is all going to be okay."
If you're alongside your parent as they are battling ALS, Brandi recommends finding a support group with people that have gone through or are going through the same thing. Learn from other people's experiences on how to care for their loved one and plan for the long term. The ALS Association Florida Chapter has the "Caregiver Connections" Phone Support Group that will help. Brandi says her mom's ALS is progressing faster than they feel prepared for, so she looks for all advice and resources she can find.
"Every day and minute are different. Rally everyone because you are going to need all the help, love, and patience you can get."