HLC Chats With Mike Pierce
Mike Pierce is an ALS Warrior and member of the Hope Loves Company family. We were fortunate to have Mike's wife, Tricia, and daughter, Cassidy at Camp HLC at Fairview Lake last weekend! Thank you Mike for participating in our #ALSAwarenessMonth campaign, HLC Chats With!
(HLC): Do you have a nick name? How did you get it? (MP): My favorite nicknames are Dad or Coach. I have coached all three of my kids over 19 seasons and absolutely loved being called coach. Dad is by far the best thing I have ever been called.
(HLC): What is your favorite childhood memory?
(MP): My favorite memories of growing up always included camping or baseball. My favorite was one time while camping my Uncle Pat and I acted like a racoon got in the cabin. We ran around screaming while everyone else jumped on the cots. We finally collapsed on the floor in hysterics. My Mom didn't think it was so funny.
(HLC): Camp HLC is one of our wonderful programs. Have you ever attended summer camp? If yes what was your favorite memory about camp?
(MP): I have not but my wife and daughter did. My daughters favorite was my wife taking part in a rap battle.
(HLC): Who is your favorite musician? I like all types of music and my favorites are based on personal experiences.
(MP): Rebelution is my go to when I'm feeling down. They are a reggae band that is very upbeat and their lyrics are very positive. As far as an individuals, I have two. Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphy's and Dennis Casey of Flogging Molly. Both these individuals have gone out of their way to make their concerts special for me and my family. (HLC): Do you have a pet companion? If so, please share his/her name and what you love most about him/her.
(MP): I have two Golden Retrievers named Sam and Riley. They are both very special in many ways. Riley is my foot warmer as every time I sit down she is immediately sitting on my feet. Sam is obsessed with tennis balls. (HLC): People would be surprised to know that.... (cool fact about you!)
(MP): I used to love to cook and was pretty good at it. People would also be surprised at how much I love and care about them. I've always had a hard exterior and wasn't able to express the softer side that was always there. (HLC): What is one thing you can share with others about resilience and adversity?
(MP): It's very difficult to keep getting up but you must never give up. Life can be very hard but the sun usually shines after a storm. The most important thing I do is to take things one step at a time. Try to win small battles instead of looking at the whole. It can be discouraging to look at a huge problem and try to tackle it all at once. Small victories are encouraging and add up over time. Put one foot in front of the other and never give in. You can be knocked down but remain undefeated and no matter what happens, Life is always good! (HLC): What's your go to person, book or movie for inspiration?
(MP): My wife has always inspired me. She is a juvenile diabetic and I have always been in awe of her ability to handle it. It's very difficult with lots of ups and downs but I have never seen her give in to it. She is truly a fighter that keeps living life to its fullest despite having physical limitations. She is the most resilient person I have ever known.
(HLC): If you have a go to resource (website, blog, etc...) that you think would help others, please share it!
(MP): Networking with other people is an invaluable resource. conventional medicine offers some help but talking with others that have ALS can be very enlightening and beneficial. A lot of things are discovered through trial and error and it helps finding things that work for others.
(HLC): Share something that you want others to know about ALS...
(MP): Having ALS sucks! Imagine all your favorite things in life being stolen from you. Imagine helplessly watching your body slowly wither away. Imagine fighting with no chance of victory. Imagine something that has no cure. It is a horrible and humbling disease but also an enlightening one. Imagine finding a new love, respect, and feeling of appreciation for the ones around you. Imagine embracing family and friends and expressing your love without any reservations. Imagine watching a sunset or listening to the ocean waves and being in awe of natures beauty. Imagine being thankful to hear the sound of a bat hitting a ball or a coach yelling at the players. Imagine the great joy of playing with the dog. Imagine being grateful for every minute, every hour, every day. Imagine not taking small, everyday things for granted. My only regret is that it took ALS to show me how much I took for granted. I am lucky to be able to hug my wife and kids and tell them how proud and happy they make me feel. I am lucky to have the opportunity to see the people and places I love. I am lucky that though many things have been taken from me, ALS will never take my spirit. I am lucky for today! Life is Good!
Thank you Mike for sharing your strength, positivity, and personal stories! We were so fortunate to have Tricia and Cassie at Camp HLC this past weekend!