Man Who Proposed to Girlfriend Two Days After ALS Diagnosis Fights for Love 6 Years Later: ‘She Stuck It Out with Me’

August 1, 2017 - als

It didn’t take prolonged for Hope Dezember to tumble for her now-husband, Steve.

“He bewitched my hosiery off on a initial date. He had candles lit, he had Frank Sinatra personification and he baked crab legs,” she tells PEOPLE.

But there was something else about that night that stood out as a integrate from Johns Creek, Georgia, got to know any other. Steve Dezember’s hands trembled and she watched him onslaught to open a bottle.

“He’d been to a alloy 7 times during that point, though he didn’t know what was going on,” Hope recalls.

In Aug 2011, 4 months after their initial date, doctors figured out what was wrong. The former engineering recruiter, afterwards 28, was diagnosed with ALS, ordinarily famous as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a on-going neurodegenerative disease that affects haughtiness cells in a mind and a spinal cord.

Steve and Hope Dezember

Two days later, a integrate went for a travel and Steve proposed. He had already bought a ring though told Hope he accepted if she wasn’t adult for a highway ahead.

“He said, ‘You don’t have to stay with me, we listened what a alloy said.’ we said, ‘I’m not going anywhere,’ ” Hope recalls.

Courtesy of Raymond Adams

Two months later, in Oct 2011, a integrate was married. Steve wanted to make certain he could travel down a aisle.

“It’s flattering wild, it’s an engaging thing when we get married and we don’t know how prolonged you’re going to get with your husband,” Hope says.

By Jan of a subsequent year, Steve was descending a lot and by 2013, doctors had to insert a tube to assistance him breathe. Hope hasn’t listened her husband’s voice given then. At one point, he was down to usually 67 pounds and Hope had to watch as he came tighten to genocide — twice.

“When we demeanour during him, he’s still usually as handsome. He’s still cute. He doesn’t trim his brave anymore. He’s hairy, and we like that,” she says, laughing.

The couple’s adore story is so powerful, they worked with a documentary organisation to emanate a film that followed them for dual years after Steve’s diagnosis. It debuted in 2014 and is now accessible on iTunes and Amazon.

“I am unequivocally beholden to have that,” says Hope. “Back afterwards we didn’t comprehend a value, how most we would watch a videos. I’ve famous him longer now ill and though a voice, it’s a bit if a conduct game.”

Hope, 32, left her pursuit as a mental health therapist to caring for Steve, now 34, full time. This past year has been a tough one – until final month, Steve usually got out of bed to go to a hospital.

The medical group has pronounced there isn’t most some-more they can do for him, though Hope is a starved researcher, constantly looking for ways to assistance her husband.

“The doctors make it sound unequivocally bleak, though we don’t buy into that,” she says. “We still trust there is copiousness of hope.”

Steve spoke with PEOPLE regulating a computer, saying: “It’s not easy to know you’re on a trail of being not means to move. It’s unequivocally a lot to understanding with though we feel rather confident for carrying a augury we have. My days are spent examination a squirrels and when we have appetite we watch TV and work a batch market. Hope is an angel, we am so grateful she has stranded it out with me each singular day.”

Courtesy of Steve and Hope Dezember

This past week, Steve was finally good adequate to get behind in his wheelchair and lapse to doing something else he loves – painting. He picks a paint colors and afterwards instructs people to pierce his chair in certain ways to come adult with a designs.

“It inspires me and we know a lot of other people get desirous too. I’m so unapproachable of him,” Hope says.

They design him to have some-more paintings for sale in August. Find out some-more about his work and their story on their website,

“I’m fighting for a cure. I’m fighting to stay alive for when that heal happens,” Steve says.

Adds Hope, “The law is we feel a weight of a complicated stuff, we don’t repudiate that it’s tough and it’s sad. We weep when he loses some of his function, though we also find what’s left and we’re grateful for that. At a finish of a day he’s still here and we still get to spend a days together.”

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