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‘Note to Self,’ a Response by O.J. Brigance

After seeing CBS This Morning’s powerful segment about Chris Rosati’s “Note to Self,” O.J. Brigance wanted to reach out and connect with Chris. We share O.J.’s letter to Chris with you below.

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Hello Chris,

My name is O. J. Brigance. I recently saw your Note to Self on CBS this morning. I was moved by your perspective as you face the battle of your life against ALS. You see, I too have been diagnosed with ALS. Back in 2007, my wife and I waited in a cold, sterile exam room to receive confirmation of what we already knew, I had ALS. The blow was devastating to the future we often imagined. I was 37 at the time and couldn’t have imagined going from an active, vibrant person to being dead by the age of 40. Once we took the time to process the changes that would ultimately intrude into our lives, we decided to fight for each other, our family and our destiny.

Now, nine and a half years later in my own journey, I wanted to write a Note to Chris’ Future Self to encourage you. Though the road will be challenging at times, the strength and fortitude you will discover within yourself and those around you will continue to fuel you towards greater pursuits. You will continue to discover that the purpose for the pain is to enhance the world around you with the precious moments you still have on this earth! You will understand if you haven’t already that our time on earth is not determined by doctors or tests, but by our Creator.

The one thing that all humanity has in common is that we will all leave this earth one day. Death isn’t exclusive to those afflicted by ailments, but we all have a time and appointed season for life. The true litmus test of our worth will not be the number of days we lived, but the number of lives we impacted with the time we were blessed to live. So I encourage you to keep on living, keep on laughing , keep on loving your precious family and all of humanity around you. Hold on to the hope of watching your girls grow up and walking them down the aisle. Hope sustains us. Stay connected to the wife of your youth. Draw from her love, strength and compassion to press on!

I have discovered a depth of kindness and decency in mankind that only became visible through the eyes of ALS. Many times our journey may seem overwhelming, but life has prepared us to handle the assignment that would be insurmountable to most. I wanted to let you know Chris, the best is yet to come! As Lou Gehrig said many years ago, “I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. “Take care my friend!

Sincerely,

O.J.