The dream of Kathy Poirier of dancing with her sons at their wedding faded after she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Her sons devised a heartbreaking way to make their dreams come true, and a video of the dance has no doubt brought a tear to the eye of millions of viewers.
Poirier, who lives in Florida, was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in January 2019. In an interview with Good Morning America, she described the moment when it dawned on her how serious the problem might be.
I couldn’t hold up three fingers when I asked my husband to bring me three items, and that’s when I knew something was wrong,” said Zak’s mother, who has twin sons Jake and Nick, 27.
“Knowing that you have it is the hardest part,” she said. “The statistics are grim.”
The ALS Association estimates that 90% of cases of the progressive neurodegenerative disease have no known cause, and there is no cure. As the disease progresses, patients lose the ability to walk, dress, write, speak, swallow, and breathe, and their life expectancy is shortened to an average of three years after initial diagnosis.
When Poirier’s eldest son Zak was about to get married, she was determined not to let it stop her.
“I was devastated that I wasn’t going to be able to dance with him,” the 55-year-old told The Epoch Times. “We discussed it, and I really wanted it to happen.”
The full video can be found at the end of this article.
The three brothers escorted their wheelchair-bound mother to the dancefloor at Zak’s wedding on Apr. 9, 2022. The video of twins Jake and Nick helping their mother up and holding her while she danced with Zak has been viewed more than 3.6 million times since it was shared on wedding planner Root to Stems’ Instagram account.
“I was nervous going up on the floor not because I was worried about my boys but because I was worried about being stared at,” Poirier confessed.
Throughout the dance, Poirier was seen tearing up as her sons held her tight.
As soon as I got on the dance floor, I knew my boys had me,” she said. “They just told me not to worry. You’re in good hands. It was a moment I had dreamed about for a long time.”
As Zak tried to hold it together, his emotions got the best of him, and he, too, was seen fighting back tears. As they swayed to the music, he was seen saying “I love you” to his mother.
“It was hard to keep my tears at bay, but it felt great,” she continued to Epoch Times. Having a moment like that with my son at a milestone in his life felt liberating. “It was just so beautiful.”
In the meantime, Poirier hoped the video would do more than just touch people’s hearts.
The video is about raising awareness of ALS because it is so unforgiving. There isn’t enough awareness. My family and I are very fortunate; I have money to spend on treatment. It’s not just about me, it’s about all the people suffering from this disease who need help.