Paul and Milt's Story
Friends Paul Lamirande and Milt MacLean are celebrating an incredible achievement: together, in just four months, they have written A Life Journey, the story of Paul’s life.
“Everyone has a story to tell,” says Paul. “It’s important to me to tell mine. For my grandkids, and also to let people know what I think and feel about living with ALS.”
Paul and Milt first met when they were matched through Acclaim Health’s Hospice Visiting program. Paul was interested in keeping his mind active, despite a body that is slowly succumbing to ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Milt was looking for meaningful ways to stay challenged in retirement. Together they embarked on a journey to fulfill one of Paul’s greatest wishes: to put his life story into words.
Former President of the Kinsmen Club in Meadowvale, and with a long and varied career in music and in business, Paul wanted to share his story to help people remember he is defined by much more than his struggle with ALS. He also wants others facing similar challenges to take strength from all that he has accomplished while living with the disease. As Paul says, “You don’t have a choice. You have to fight and be positive, and find ways to help other people no matter what you’re dealing with.”
Asked why they think they’ve been able to accomplish so much, Paul is quick to answer “we think alike.” Laughing, Milt agrees “That’s scary, but that’s true.”
Both have been changed by the experience. “As a volunteer,” says Milt, “the rewards are much greater than what you put in. It’s exciting for me to see him accomplish his goal. His courage, determination and sense of humour are an inspiration to me.”
As Paul’s physical world shrinks, it is even more important to him to be open to new experiences and new people. We’re happy we’ve helped Paul and Milt find each other.
As Paul says, “Friendship is very important. Without people like Milt, it would be a sad, sad world.”
Note: Paul passed away in the fall of 2013. Milt continued to visit him until the very end.