This is our ALS: A Love Story. It’s about us, my husband, O.J. And, it’s about my wife, Chanda.
O.J. and I met in 1989; we married five years later. We love to laugh and have our inside jokes as husband and wife.
When I first went to visit him in Canada, he was playing for the BC Lions. To this day, that song — (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – still plays in my mind when I think of that trip, and it continues to be “our song!” Canada was so beautiful. Never mind that he picked me up at the airport with the gas tank on “E” – we were literally on fumes. It was snowing and cold, but he was determined to get back across the Canadian border to get gas for the car. We had no money, we did nothing exciting on that trip, but it was still one of the very best trips together we have ever taken.
To this day, O.J. puts up with me. He lets me be me, whether he agrees with me or not. And he’s OK with that. He always has my back.
O.J. bought me a stuffed monkey last year that dances and it is my absolute favorite Valentine’s gift – it’s my favorite gift ever. It plays Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven and I’m going to get it out for every Valentine’s Day because I love it that much.
ALS has not stopped the love for us. Love is still love. It doesn’t stop our marriage, from honoring our vows, it also doesn’t stop us from disagreeing! It doesn’t stop us from being married, ALS or not, we are husband and wife.
Knowing that our love is … being committed to each other regardless of whether we feel like it, helps me out immensely! To know that Chanda has my back gives me the courage to fight to make the most out of every day. Her strength is incredible.
There are always those little moments when we notice something at the same time, look at each other and just bust out laughing! The little inside jokes bring levity to daily life. Though ALS has taken so much from us physically, the bond between Chanda and me is still strong because God is in the center of our marriage. That is what keeps us going day to day.
O.J. and Chanda Brigance are Co-Founders of the Brigance Brigade Foundation. Their mission is to equip, encourage, and empower people living with ALS and their families. Brigance Brigade Foundation compliments what other ALS organizations are doing, providing funding for medical equipment and respite care not covered by other resources. Its 5th Annual 5.7K Championship Event is Sunday, April 29th and there are virtual participation options – If you’re reading this, they challenge YOU to participate in the 5.7K Championship Event and support the Brigance Brigade Foundation’s fight against ALS.