"Don’t put off what you love to do. Do it now. Yesterday is history, and tomorrow is a mystery. Live in the present." - Leann Reidy
Jimmy and Leann Reidy met on June 2, 2005 at the Banana Boat Restaurant in Boynton Beach, Florida. Leann ignored her blind date to sit, talk, and dance with Jimmy instead. Jimmy gave her his phone number, thinking she'd never call. Coincidentally, she called him five days later on his 51st birthday. From then on, they went out every weekend - boating, fishing, and dancing. They'd often choose Banana Boat as a frequent date spot; the band knew their song, Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight".
At Leann's 50th birthday party celebration on October 7, 2016, they surprised their friends and family by getting married at Ellie's 50's Diner in Delray Beach. A hurricane was brewing, and they still pulled it off. To celebrate, they bought a vacation home on the water along Florida's West Coast. They would go almost every weekend to do what they love on and near the water.
In 2017, Jimmy's first symptoms appeared - shaky hands. After two years of pain and three different doctor's verdicts, Jimmy's ALS diagnosis was confirmed in April 2019. Leann and Jimmy went through the five stages of grief together - denial first, then anger, and they still battle with depression. They expected life to be easy - to retire someday and move to their island house on the West Coast and live out the rest of their days together.
"Being a caregiver has its challenges, but the love I have for him keeps me strong. We are staying positive and loving each other so much, we have now accepted it." - Leann
The marriage advice that they would give others is to remain positive, have a great support group with family and friends, and be thankful for each and every day. The doctors at Holy Cross Health have stated that Jimmy's progression is slower than normal, and for that they count their blessings. They have a strong faith and understand that everything happens for a reason. They live one day at a time, in hope that someday a cure is found and they can live out their retirement dream.