A local Border Patrol agent is faced with a life ending disease, but he and his wife are not giving up hope. It’s a love story that you won’t be forgetting about anytime soon.
Jeff and Liz Miranda said they planned on growing old and gray together, but a cureless disease rapidly taking control over Jeff’s nervous system is threatening that plan.
“He's my best friend and my life partner so we're in it together,” Liz said about her husband of 17 years.
Jeff was diagnosed with ALS in 2015. Liz said he was giving a presentation at work and all of the sudden he couldn’t project his voice. Shortly after that, his speech began to slur.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It progresses quickly and eventually strips patients of all muscle function.
Jeff now communicates through a computer.
"Rather than focusing on the things I can no longer do, which can be self-destructive; I focus on the things I can still do,” he said.
Among the things he says he can still do are love and appreciate his wife, and let her know how special she is every day.
"Having her by my side, always with a smile, has given me enormous happiness and hope. She has always made me feel like the luckiest man in the world to this day,” he said.
Jeff has been a BP agent for the last 17 years. The couple, along with their two teenage girls, has been living off the sick time Jeff has acquired through the years. Agents nationwide have also donated hours, but they will soon run out and Jeff will be forced into medical retirement.
"I have witnessed compassion, generosity, kindness and love that has given me strength and have made me a better person,” Jeff said.
The expenses are piling up. They’ve had to adapt their home to meet Jeff’s needs and Liz had to quit her job to provide around the clock care.
“We just gotta hold out, wait, until they find a cure,” Liz said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to bring some relief to the family when they need it most.
There's also a walk to defeat ALS happening Sunday morning on Mission Bay Drive and the Mirandas will be there participating.