Just like most of you, I recently learned about Luton Shelton’s illness. Our star footballer has been battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) since 2016. As per http://www.als.ca, ‘ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.’
A young man in his prime (only 32 years old) facing this life threatening disease…let that sink in.
Since he went public with his illness, I’ve been seeing several posts on social media pertaining to him. Today it was one of his own posts that really made me stop and think, and it was because of the caption.
Taken from Luton’s Instagram page (@ls_21)
Luton and Bobbette have been together for over thirteen years, and are about to celebrate five years of marriage. When they met, he was a healthy man ready to take on the world. She could not have possibly foreseen what the future would hold – that the love of her life would be diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, that his speech would become almost unintelligible, that her husband, the legendary footballer would get to a point (very early on) where he would rely on her for his every need; taking her from not just his wife and mother of their three young children, to primary caregiver.
It made me think about how the choices we make now impact the rest of our lives; how important it is to ensure that we look for more than just a pretty/handsome face and a little spark in a partner. You need a fire, someone of substance; someone who will stand by your side on the field when the crowd has left the stadium. Do you have a ride or die, and if you do, do you appreciate him/her?
I’ve had my own ‘Bobbette’ at different points throughout my life and not acknowledged it. I have been fortunate to have a few good men cheering in the stands for me. They’ve had a sign with my name, they’ve been shouting the loudest…they were my number one fan…and I didn’t even stop to give them an autograph. Let’s be real – we have all had a ‘Bobbette’ and not appreciated him/her, and sometimes as a result of that, they’ve ended up walking out with the rest of the crowd. Luton looked in the stands and saw value in Bobbette, and today she is by his side, sitting on the bench with him and seeing him through his darkest hours.
This couple really got me thinking that you may be scoring goals now, but will you always be? When all is said and done, you want to know that the person you settle down with will have your back through the good and the bad, and literally through sickness and in health. You want him/her to see all your flaws (yeah we are all FAR from perfect) and accept them, to appreciate and love you for…YOU…no matter what challenges life throws your way.
At the end of the game will you be alone on the field or will you have your number one fan by your side?
To donate, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/luton-shelton-fights-als-disease