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'We don't know how long we have:' Young dad with ALS renews vows with family

The Proulx family walked up the aisle to say, 'I do,' all over again because time is not on their side.

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Josh Proulx (left) smiles at his wife Stormi. The two renewed their vows in Grand Forks Thursday night, Sept. 15. Josh was diagnosed with ALS two years ago.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News
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GRAND FORKS — A recent amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis for a 39-year-old father means his bucket list item of renewing wedding vows came sooner than he ever dreamed.

At a packed event center in Grand Forks Thursday night, Sept. 15, a ceremony was held for the couple's loyalty to each other despite so many unknowns.

Stormi Proulx spent the morning with a party of primers, prepping her for one of the most memorable moments in her life.

"Oh, I didn't realize how ridiculous I looked," Stormi said, laughing as her cousins did her hair and makeup.

Stormi has been here before. She and her husband Josh got married in 2004, and have three kids.

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Then two years ago, they received the devastating news that Josh had ALS.

"That was the speech and the excess saliva and his speech changed, that was the first thing we noticed," Stormi said.

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"I mean with ALS, no cure, no treatment, we don't know how much time we have," she said.

The diagnosis has pushed up the plan to renew their wedding vows.

"It is happening. I woke up this morning and I thought, 'oh my gosh, I am really nervous,'" Stormi said. "We have 150 people coming. We just know how important it is, because every day matters. We don't know how long we have."

The day had some tough moments, like seeing cell video and audio of a vibrant dad and husband.

"I miss him running around too but when I hear that voice, I forget that is what he sounded like," Stormi said. "I haven't heard that for so long. He is amazing, seriously. People say I have the most amazing husband and my kids have the most amazing father, but I knew that before he got sick."

A care team prepped Josh for the vow renewal ceremony while at Valley Senior Living in Grand Forks.

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"He is Fabio," a caregiver said.

Josh is unable to walk or talk. He uses his eyes to type messages that activates a computerized voice box.

"I am so grateful to everyone for making this day possible," Josh said, adding he only had one word for the day: Love.

A beautiful bride once again meeting her handsome prince. Stormi and Josh forever together.

"You look absolutely beautiful," Josh said.

His care team from the nursing home came in on their day off to help with the ceremony. With 150 people at a Grand Forks event center, it was an incredible memorable walk

Josh was all smiles and their three kids are his everything.

And the girl he met at a Walmart parking lot 20 years ago? Well, she was his bride all over again.

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The two exchanged vows again. Bride and groom refusing to allow ALS to derail the long-time romance. A kiss, a crowd, a night of dancing and more time ahead of them.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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