'Once I got on the dance floor, I knew my boys had me. They just said, 'Don't worry. We've got you. We're not going to let you go.''
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 29, 2022. It has since been updated.
The heartwarming video of a mother-son wedding dance made people tear up as it went viral across social media platforms. Zak Poirier left no dry eye at his wedding reception when he helped his mom, Kathy, live out her dream of sharing the traditional dance with him despite having lost the use of her legs and arms since being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2019. With the help of his twin brothers, Nick and Jake, the 28-year-old lifted and supported his mom in his arms as they swayed to the music at his April 9, 2022, wedding to his now-wife, Anja D'adesky.
"I was just so devastated that I wasn’t going to be able to dance with him," Kathy, who lives in southwest Florida, told The Epoch Times. "We talked about it, and I really wanted to make it happen." The 55-year-old shared that she visualized dancing with Zak ahead of his big day earlier this year. "I was very worried the day of the wedding... it was very emotional, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way," said Kathy, who also faces some breathing difficulties due to the "unforgiving disease," but hasn't lost her voice yet.
Kathy shared that all three of her sons were comforting her throughout the emotional dance with the words: "We've got you, Mom, don't worry. We can do this." Midway through the dance, a visibly emotional Zak leaned in and told his mother, "I love you." Kathy revealed that being able to share the unforgettable moment with her son at his wedding was truly special for her. "I had a hard time keeping my tears at bay, but it felt great," she said. "It felt liberating to get up and have a moment like that with my son at a milestone in his life. It was just beautiful."
Speaking to Good Morning America about the dance, Kathy said: "I was really nervous going up to the floor. Not because I was worried about my boys, I was worried about being stared at. I've changed so much in two and a half years, so I'm not the person I once was. Once I got on the dance floor, I knew my boys had me. They just said, 'Don't worry. We've got you. We're not going to let you go.' And it was just a moment I have dreamed about for a long time."
The moving footage of the mother-son dance has been viewed over 3.6 million times since being shared on Instagram by the bride and groom's wedding planner, Root to Stems. Zak also later shared a video of the special moment—shot and edited by his wedding photography team, Valiant Weddings—online and has been inundated with comments praising his mom's courage and resolve. However, Kathy insists the video is not about her. "The video is about raising awareness of ALS because it's so unforgiving," she said. "There's not enough awareness. I'm very fortunate; I have family, I have money to spend on treatment. But it's not just about me, it's about all the people that are suffering from this disease that need help."
Kathy, who used to be an interior decorator running her own business, was officially diagnosed with ALS—also known as Lou Gehrig's disease—in January 2019 after she began experiencing weakness in her hands. Although she initially thought it might be a pinched nerve, testing proved otherwise. There is no known cure for ALS and doctors estimate that patients will live two to five years beyond their diagnosis as their body deteriorates. "I look at it as, I have two options: I can either accept the diagnosis and all that comes with it, or I can accept the diagnosis and fight it," said Kathy. "I'm choosing to fight it. I love my life... I want to live as long as I can."