“My dad has such an immense will to live – not just to survive through this, but to thrive, make a difference and leave his mark on the world.” -Zoe Lalji.
Our hero, Dr. Ayeez Lalji, was diagnosed with ALS in November 2017, and ever since then, he has been a beacon of relentless strength, resilience, faith and positivity. He has been nothing short of a warrior through this unbearable hardship and a true inspiration to anyone whose life he touches. Every day presents us with new challenges and new reasons to give up hope, but regardless, Ayeez keeps on fighting, pushing himself to his absolute breaking point, and then some, to fight this battle nobly with grace, humility and gratitude. Every time I look at him, I see this flame in his eyes which never dies no matter how bad things get. In fact, it grows stronger day by day. Despite all that he has lost, my dad remains grateful for the functions he still has and continues to live life courageously every day. He epitomizes strength and “smiling through the pain” better than anyone I’ve ever known or met.
Ayeez’ wife, Dr. Shelena Lalji, has been another hero in our story. She has spent literally thousands of hours searching, consulting, researching and creating therapies and protocols with the knowledge and information she has gained from hundreds of worldwide experts and studies. She believes, “The cure is out there; we just have to find it!” In addition to doing countless hours of research, she has managed to be the primary caretaker for my dad, mom to Zade and me, doctor to her patients and the ultimate multi-tasker.
Seeing Ayeez through this journey has humbled us and has taught us what it really means to never give up and fight with everything we’ve got. Together, we have acquired a mission through this, which is to support and generate hope for other ALS patients and their families around the world and show them that ALS does not define them. We will start a movement. Like Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have a dream.” We have a dream that ALS patients around the world will wake up one day and will be able to walk again, talk again, move again and breathe again – to take back what this disease has stolen from them.
We would love to have everyone in our community join us in raising awareness. If you or anyone you know has been affected by ALS or any other neurodegenerative disease, please share your stories with us, and join our mission to find a cure.
“ALS: TRAGEDY TO TRANSFORMATION”
TEDX TALK BY ZOE LALJI
A video about my family’s battle against ALS and our journey to finding balance and love in the midst of tragedy.
BATTLING ALS AS A FAMILY
GREAT DAY HOUSTON
Aired October 3, 2018 on KHOU 11