By Chelsea Ray
My Hero is my Dad. He is a hard working police officer and Christian man. He has always been by my side supporting me and taking care of me whether it’s driving me to the doctor, picking up my medications, or helping me with anything else that I need. When I was first diagnosed in 2011 with GBS I was paralyzed and was told that I would have to spend the holidays in the hospital. This was the first time I’ve ever seen my dad break down in tears. It all felt unreal and it was unbearable to see him like that because he is not one to show emotion. He has this tough exterior but on the inside he’s just a big ol’ teddy bear. I was sent home still bed ridden and my parents took care of me 24/7 even though they both had full time jobs.
Nine months later I was re-diagnosed with CIDP and my dad started taking me to every six hour long IVIG infusion and every Neurologist appointment. My Dad has worked every day as a police officer for 38 years this November, I can see how this disease has not only affected me but him and also my mom. Now that both my mom and I are in bad health and she is no longer able to work my dad has taken on the role of sole provider and care taker for the both of us. You can see in his eyes how tired he is but he never complains, and he would never admit it, but this disease scares him as much as it scares me, yet he stays by my side and supports me. I love and appreciate my dad and mom more than they will ever know. Sometimes my condition and pain gets in the way of my ability to show my appreciation but my dad is able to see the humor and can lighten the mood with a joke (or letting go of my wheelchair on a slope…he thinks that’s hilarious!) We’ve all come so far with this disease learning how to cope and roll with the punches over the years. We’ve had some really good times and some really bad times but we get through each day together, through prayer and faith and a lot of light heartedness. I’m so blessed to have a family that loves me, takes care of me, and stays by my side no matter what. My dad has worn his CIDP bracelet all these years until it broke just a few weeks ago, he’s so excited to have received a new one, he never takes it off! My Dad is my HERO, one of my biggest supporters, and I love him.