Carol Farrior is one strong woman. A mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, Carol is fighting the hardest battle of her life.
Three years ago, Carol was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Despite new obstacles in her life, like dependence on mechanical ventilation, Carol refuses to let ALS define her or steal her spirit. We sat down with Carol and her son, Tyler, a few days before Mother’s Day, to talk about their relationship and shared outlook on life.
Like Mother, Like Son
“My mom started getting sick while I was in seventh grade,” Tyler begins. “A lot of kids would’ve gotten negative and into the streets—or drugs.” Neither Carol or Tyler were going to let that happen.
Tyler channeled his worry and fear into fashion. With the help of his mom, who loves to shop, Tyler created COOL Clothing Co., a t-shirt company.
“My mom has helped me a lot,” says Tyler. “You could say I was ‘cultured’ by her.”
There is a lot of Carol in her son. It’s apparent in Tyler’s relentless hard work and determination.
“He’s a lot like me,” Carol smiles.
Even though Tyler is in high school, he finds time to design, produce and market a fall, winter, spring and summer t-shirt collection for COOL Clothing Co. He says his collections are inspired by his mom, the city of Chicago, and his passions, including art and the LA Dodgers. To view his collection, click here.
“Tyler is a big help,” Carol begins as tears well in her eyes and her voice cracks. Carol is so proud of her son.
Passion for Helping Others
Carol’s lifelong passion for helping people kept her working as a Parole Agent for the State of Illinois for twenty-four years.
With a confidence that comes from a deep knowingness, Carol simply says, “I helped people.”
In 2004, Carol received her Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies at Governors State University.
Living Life to the Fullest
Always on the go—shopping, baking, gardening, socializing, or party planning—Carol does her best to continue enjoying her life.
Carol’s physical limitations require that she solicits help from her family, friends, neighbors and nurses so she can continue to do the things she loves to her fullest ability. She gardens by picking out the flowers and vegetables for her garden and deck, and bakes by giving direction to others while they recreate her best recipes—BBQ ribs and earthquake cake, to name a few.
Carol feels blessed to have so many wonderful people in her life, including her nurses.
“We’re very close,” Carol says when asked about her nurses. “They’ve blessed me by being here with me.” Carol has received 24/7 skilled nursing care at home with Independence Plus for almost three years.
As our conversation comes to an end, Carol leaves me with these parting words: “If you’re going to pray, don’t worry.”
Carol reminds me that “God has her back” and she trusts that everything will work out.
Nothing, not even this disease, can destroy Carol’s remarkable spirit.
Is there someone like Carol in your life? Tell us here.