Ted Moe was moved to write down something his friend Joe Delio said to him recently: “I feel like sometimes I’m fighting to breathe and sometimes I’m breathing to fight.”
Joe has multiple sclerosis, which has paralyzed his body inch by inch over the last 25 years. He is now mostly immobile — he has use of his left hand — and has a tracheotomy, which helps him breathe through a hole in his neck, attached to a ventilator. To speak, the air hose needs to be moved away from the tube in his neck and Joe has to plug the hole with his finger. Joe is also struggling with his failing kidneys and receives dialysis three times a week.