Kristin Neva,  —

Kristin Neva is an author, mother of two, and caregiver for her husband, Todd, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010 when he was 39 years old. Knowing they would need family support, they moved to Upper Michigan and built an accessible home on property next to Kristin’s childhood home. Kristin enjoys spending time outdoors, especially on the shore of Lake Superior in the summer. Todd no longer has use of his limbs, but he stays active working on projects on his computer using adaptive technology. They try to find joy in the midst of sorrow as Todd’s health declines.

Articles by Kristin Neva

In Defense of Delight in the Midst of Suffering

If my husband, Todd, did not have ALS, there would still be someone else with ALS. And there’s cancer. Childhood illness. Tragic accidents. But winter has arrived on the Keweenaw Peninsula, and I’m compelled to get out and delight in God’s creation. Would He have made nature so beautiful…

Grief Is a Wolf that Demands Attention

As I approached the one-year anniversary of my husband, Todd’s, ALS diagnosis, I wrote in my journal: “I want to be happy, healed, and whole again. But the grief that I am experiencing is not something one can easily get over.” I read books such as “Getting…

We’re Figuring Out Healthcare on Our Own in Rural America

After my husband Todd’s ALS diagnosis, he said, “We need to sell the house and move near your parents.” He anticipated that their day-to-day support in rural northern Michigan would be more important than being near an ALS clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We appreciated the convenience of seeing Todd’s…

Wartime Living Tests Marriages

Sometimes I’ll pick up a magazine in a grocery store checkout line and see a marriage article about sex or the division of household chores. I’ll sigh wistfully. Healthy people problems. In “Flying Without Wings,” Arnold Beisser describes his journey to become a psychiatrist, which was nearly impossible after…

Imagining Our Lives Without ALS

My husband, Todd, recently asked me, “What do you think our life would be like if I hadn’t gotten ALS?” I’ve done this mental exercise before, but never with him. He’d be working and trying to advance his career. Our two kids would be in school. I might be working…

Just Breathe: Dealing with Chronic Stress

ALS is now affecting my husband’s breathing. On occasion, Todd’s lungs fill with fluid and he needs me to give him an assisted cough, just as his physical therapist taught me to do. He stacks his breath as I count to four, and I push on his abdomen below…

Coming Unstuck and Reaching Beyond Ourselves

Before my husband, Todd, got ALS, we had minor problems, but we were full of hope. We had a small baby so I wasn’t getting much sleep, but I knew that things would get better. Todd was sometimes frustrated with his work, but he hoped to be promoted. Our obstacles…

Navigating ALS with Children in Tow

My heart ached for my kids after my husband, Todd, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Isaac was 9 months old and Sara was 4. How would ALS affect them? I had no idea how to help them navigate our future. A year after Todd was diagnosed, I…