‘Every day matters’: Man with ALS renews vows with wife

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 3:42 AM EDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (WDAY) - A rare diagnosis for a 39-year-old father means he renewed his wedding vows sooner than he ever dreamed because it’s unclear how much time he has left to spend with his family.

Stormi Proulx spent Thursday morning with a party of primpers, prepping her to say “I do” all over again. She and her husband, Josh Proulx, met in a Wal-Mart parking lot, got married in 2004 and have three kids, the youngest just 2 years old.

But then, two years ago, Josh Proulx received the devastating diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS.

Josh Proulx, a 39-year-old husband and father of three, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral...
Josh Proulx, a 39-year-old husband and father of three, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS, two years ago. The diagnosis pushed up he and his wife's plan to renew their wedding vows.(Source: Proulx Family, WDAY via CNN)

“That was the speech and the excess saliva, and the sound of his laugh drastically changed. That’s actually the first thing we noticed,” Stormi Proulx said. “With ALS, it’s a terminal illness – no cure, no treatment – we don’t know how much time we have.”

The diagnosis pushed up the plan to renew their wedding vows.

“We just know how important it is now because every day matters,” Stormi Proulx said.

The day had some tough moments, like seeing cellphone video and audio of a once-vibrant dad and husband, who can no longer walk or talk.

“I miss him running around, too, but when I hear his voice, I forget that is what he sounded like. I haven’t heard that for so long. He is amazing, seriously. People can say I have the most amazing husband or my kids have the most amazing father, but even before he got sick, I knew those things,” Stormi Proulx said.

As his wife got ready, Josh Proulx’s care team at Valley Senior Living prepped him for the ceremony on their day off. The loving husband and father uses his eyes to type messages that activate a computerized voice box.

“I am so grateful to everyone making this day possible,” he said, adding he had just one word for the day: “Love.”

The couple exchanged vows once again in front of 150 people, including their children. They refused to allow ALS to derail their long-time romance.

“You look absolutely beautiful,” Josh Proulx told his wife when he saw her in her dress.

The vows ended with a kiss, with a night of dancing and more time together ahead for the family.