Mateo Lopez suctions his father’s trachea tube to help him breathe and speak. Lopez, 20, put aside college and a promising football career to stay home to care for his father, Paul Lopez, who has ALS. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)
The Lopez family has stuck together through good times and bad since father Paul Lopez was diagnosed in 2015 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. From top left are son Mateo, 20, son Leonardo, 11, Paul Lopez and wife, Billie Lopez. In front is the family pooch, Penelope. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)
Paul and Billie Lopez have been together for 25 years but married only three years ago. The two met at a party at Paul’s house and, he jokes, Billie never left. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — He does not think about the way things were supposed to be, the way he wanted them to be, his destiny, his future.