In 2005, Augie Nieto was lying in a hospital bed when he came to the conclusion that heâ€™d rather end his life than become a burden to his family. Nieto had just been diagnosed withÂ amyotrophic lateral sclerosisÂ (ALS or Lou Gehrigâ€™s disease) and was feeling completely lost.
When he miraculously survived his suicide attempt, he made a decision right then and there. Nieto said, â€œI could die from ALS or live with ALS. I chose to live with ALS and make the most of it.â€
Over the next three years, he lost leg and arm use. Today, he communicates with facial motions and a device he controls with his feet.
â€œIâ€™ve learned through my journey with ALS, that there are a lot of choices,â€Â Nieto told The Mighty. â€œI can choose to celebrate what I do have or mourn the loss of something I can no longer do by myself.â€
When his youngest child,Â Lindsay, was preparing for her wedding, Nieto had to wonder: Would he spend the day celebrating her marriage or mourning that he could not walk her down the aisle?
On his daughterâ€™s wedding day in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, with a device helping him stand upright, Nieto walked her down the aisle.
â€œThis is a goal that is so personal, so much more important than anything Iâ€™ve done â€" simply because it will make Lindsay happy. Seeing her happy is the best motivator.â€
â€œI kind of thought that I wouldâ€™ve been looking at [my fiancÃ©] when I was walking down the aisleâ€¦Â but I couldnâ€™t look at anything but my dad,â€ Lindsay told Today.com. â€œI was just amazed he was able to get in his device and stand up. The sun was in his eyes, and I was just thinking that heâ€™s done so much to be here and worked so hard that I just started bawling.â€
God truly had a hand in Nietoâ€™s journey and itâ€™s a blessing to see the positive impact Nieto leaves.
â€œContinue living and donâ€™t give up. Youâ€™ll have days you donâ€™t want to, and thatâ€™s OK,â€ he said. â€œOn the other days, focus on what you can do and not what you cannot do.â€
h/t: The Mighty