Leilanie and Michael met when they were just 15 years old. Twelve years later they got engaged. But as they were preparing for their wedding, something seemed off with Michael.
He began tripping over himself and lost sight in one of his eyes. He met with his family doctor who insisted he see a neurologist.
After running numerous tests, Michael's doctor called and told him he needed to come in to hear the results.
"I'll never forget that day because when he asked us to sit down, the expression on the doctor's face made my stomach turn. I knew it wasn't good news," says Leilanie.
The doctor, who had been Michael's doctor since he was a child, struggled as he told his longtime patient that he had multiple sclerosis.
Michael sat still and said nothing after receiving the devastating news. Leilanie says it felt like the carpet had been ripped out from underneath her."
Before taking their vows, Michael gave Leilanie the choice to back out of their relationship, but she was in love and knew that was not what she wanted.
The pair got married, and against the doctor's recommendations, started a family.
For the past two decades, with help from her three children, Leilanie has been her husband's main caregiver.
She says her faith has been the main factor that helps get their family through life.
"I've always had a relationship with God, but this tested my faith," Leilanie explains. "I have to say that throughout the 22 years of caregiving if I wasn't careful and relied on just human strength we wouldn't have made it this far."
Today on Connections, Leilanie shares her family's journey as they battle a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. She also talks about how faith and love have helped her family through the ups and downs of caregiving.