Cape Breton man with ALS to embark on trip of a lifetime
Published Monday, April 27, 2015 5:42PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:45AM ADT
A terminally-ill Cape Breton man is preparing for the trip of a lifetime that he hopes will be a truly spiritual journey.
Darryl Bach have been living with ALS for nearly three years and the disease makes even the simplest of tasks difficult.
“I tell people, ‘try to get out of bed without using your arms,’” says the Glace Bay resident. “It’s rough, right?”
Though his body is deteriorating, the 50-year-old father of two is keeping his spirits high.
His positive attitude may have led him to a one-of-a-kind journey. Bach entered to go on an all-expense paid trip to a mysterious place in Bosnia, where some believe miracles are possible.
The trip was organized by a filmmaker looking to document whether there is truth to the legend.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” says Bach. “I’m going to go over there and have an open mind. I think if nothing else, there will be a lot of serenity and peace.”
More than 160 people around the world with life-altering challenges submitted videos online. Only eight were chosen.
Bach says the biggest challenge will be managing his expectations.
“I’m starting to think there’s a little glimmer of hope,” he says. “Some potential there, but I’m not going there with that expectation. I have to be realistic.”
Bach says he made the decision to go because an opportunity like this likely won’t come again.
“Even in the rare event that it should, am I going to be physically able to do it? The answer to that would be no.”
ALS advocate Shelley Brown says Bach has been an inspiration to Maritimers living with ALS since developing the disease, which was in large part why he was chosen.
“He brings hope to (ALS patients) by showing them it is possible to live well with ALS, and not let ALS define you,” she says.
Even if there isn’t a change in his condition, Bach hopes his trip will serve as inspiration to others.
“I’m living with ALS, I’m not dying with ALS,” he says. “That’s the way I look at it.”
Back will leave for Bosnia on June 2.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald