Amanda Bernier inspired millions by breastfeeding while fighting ALS
Amanda Bernier, who inspired millions by breastfeeding during her battle with ALS, died this week according to her Facebook page, Amanda’s Angels. She was 32-years old and had been battling the disease for two-and-a-half years.
This woman was an absolute warrior.
“It is with a heavy heart to let you know that Amanda passed away. She is now free from this horrible disease,” the Facebook post read. “Amanda fought until the very end and inspired so many. Her infectious smile radiates through our beautiful daughter.”
Bernier’s story is truly incredible. Two weeks after finding out she was pregnant with her first child, she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She defied all odds by carrying the baby to full term, surviving the pregnancy and delivering her healthy baby girl, Arabella Grace. Last year, she won the world’s heart when she candidly and bravely wrote about her struggles with breastfeeding while paralyzed on the Amanda’s Angels Facebook page. In the picture she is smiling with her daughter, who she calls “Peanut” sucking happily beside her.
“I can’t take care of my daughter, but I can give her the gift of breast milk. I will continue on until my body no longer produces,” Bernier wrote. The post went viral and was shared over 30,000 times and liked over 60,000.
A few scrolls through her community page will have you smiling and sobbing at the same time. It’s a record keeping of sorts through her journey of mothering while battling a debilitating illness. The pains, the triumphs and ultimate resilience of being a parent so achingly aware that they won’t be on this earth for much longer. Just a few months ago, she wrote about how her daughter makes a hug happen with her paralyzed mama.
“Arabella is so sweet to me. She lies on my belly and grabs my arms so that I am giving her a hug.”
A good lesson this mom and daughter have taught us. Hug your babies. However you can do it.