After being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) two weeks into her pregnancy, Connecticut firefighter Amanda Bernier refuses to lose hope.
She blew the statistics out of the water when she gave birth to a beautifully healthy, happy baby girl, Arabella Grace. Not only is the 31 year-old mother completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but she is continuing to overcome the odds by breastfeeding her daughter.
On her Facebook page run by her loving husband, Chris Bernier, she says, "Nobody knew if I would be able to. My doctors could not find any case studies. Just like I knew that I would deliver a healthy full term baby, I knew that I would be able to breastfeed."
Nobody knew if I would be able to. My doctors could not find any case studies. Just lIke I knew that I would deliver a...
As Arabella has gotten older it has become much harder to pump breast milk and it has brought about new challenges because of her paralysis, but that is not stopping this firefighter even for a second.
While being paralyzed, she still has found time to share her experiences on Facebook to allow others with the disease to know they are not alone. She is able to post on social media by typing through eye movements.
She shares, "A very important goal of mine was to freeze as much milk as I could so my daughter would still have breast milk when I was no longer here."
She did this and much more. Amanda is still thriving today and gets to see her Arabella often even though she spends most days in bed.
Arabella is so sweet to me. She lies on my belly and grabs my arms so that I am giving her a hug.
Last night she was...
Amanda continues to post inspirational insights on her journey and loves answering people's questions. She is facing a very difficult trial but knows that her impact on other people is much larger than she could ever have imagined.
Amanda made local headlines several months ago when she challenged the famous Jimmy Fallon to participate in the Ice bucket Challenge, which raises money for ALS patients like herself.
She shares, "Having ALS is not how I pictured my life. It breaks my heart that I can't be the mother that I wanted to be. It crushes my soul that she won't have her mother for much longer and she will grow up without me. However everything happens for a reason, so I am glad that I will be by her side as her angel."
Tana is a student with a passion for words. She believes that written words can touch people in ways unimaginable. In her spare time she enjoys singing, hiking, cuddling in a fuzzy blanket, and spending time with her friends and family.