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  • - I LOVE OUR VIEWERS.

  • THEY TELL US ABOUT INSPIRING PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES,

  • AND WE RECEIVED A NUMBER OF EMAILS

  • ABOUT THIS NEXT FAMILY.

  • I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO MEET THEM.

  • HERE'S THEIR STORY.

  • - [giggles]

  • - [chuckles]

  • I'M JESS.

  • AND WE HAVE TWO BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GIRLS

  • NAMED KENDALL AND MCKENNA,

  • AND WE ARE FROM PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA.

  • MATT HAS BEEN A CITY OF PITTSBURGH FIRE FIGHTER

  • FOR EIGHT YEARS NOW,

  • AND HE HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH ALS FOR SEVEN.

  • WE HAD TO ACCEPT, YOU KNOW,

  • THE CARDS THAT WE WERE DEALT WITH,

  • AND--AND--

  • - AND WE'VE BEEN HAVING FUN EVER SINCE.

  • WE ARE SURROUNDED BY SUCH AN AWESOME GROUP OF PEOPLE,

  • FAMILY, FRIENDS, COMMUNITY,

  • TO COME AROUND AND RALLY WITH US

  • AND SUPPORT US.

  • I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DESCRIBE THIS EXPERIENCE

  • AS ANY OTHER WAY THAN AMAZING.

  • WHENEVER MATT FIRST WENT OFF THE JOB,

  • THE GUYS ON HIS FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • STARTED WORKING HIS SHIFTS FOR HIM

  • SO MATT COULD STILL RECEIVE A PAYCHECK

  • TO CARE FOR OUR FAMILY.

  • - GUYS WERE WORKING FIVE EXTRA SHIFTS.

  • I MEAN, JUST ANYWHERE POSSIBLE.

  • WE WERE FIGHTING TO TAKE THE EXTRA DAYS.

  • - WHAT HE'S BEEN THROUGH AND DONE EVERYTHING,

  • THIS GUY IS MY HERO.

  • LIKE, HE MAKES ME CHEER UP WHEN I'M SAD.

  • - WATCHING THEM DEAL WITH THEIR DISEASE

  • BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN YOU.

  • THEY HELP ME BE A BETTER PARENT.

  • - WHAT MATT'S DOING TODAY, WHAT MATT DID YESTERDAY,

  • WHAT MATT'S GONNA DO TOMORROW,

  • THAT'S THE FAVORITE MEMORY RIGHT THERE.

  • IT'S HEROIC,

  • AND IT IS AN INSPIRATION.

  • - YEAH, WE'RE PRETTY--

  • YEAH, WE'VE BEEN PRETTY LUCKY THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS.

  • WE'VE BEEN VERY LUCKY.

  • [cries and sniffles]

  • VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • AND ALL THAT THEY'VE DONE AND THEY CONTINUE TO DO FOR US.

  • HONESTLY WE'VE BEEN LIVING LIFE A LOT MORE DIFFERENTLY.

  • - HELLO.

  • [laughs]

  • HELLO.

  • [laughs]

  • - PLEASE WELCOME MATT AND JESS ONYSHKO.

  • [cheers and applause]

  • [cheers and applause]

  • Y'ALL ARE FANTASTIC.

  • ALL RIGHT.

  • YOU'RE GONNA NEED A LOT OF THESE.

  • THE WHOLE AUDIENCE NEEDS THEM RIGHT NOW.

  • - OH, MY GOODNESS. - OKAY.

  • - I TRIED TO COME PREPARED. - BOY, OH, BOY.

  • THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON IN YOUR LIVES,

  • AND THE POSITIVITY IN YOU SAYING,

  • "WE'VE BEEN HAVING FUN EVER SINCE,"

  • THAT JUST GOT TO ME.

  • IT JUST--IT'S LIKE, THAT IS YOUR CHOICE,

  • 'CAUSE WE--THAT'S THE ONLY THING WE HAVE A CHOICE

  • IS OUR REACTION TO SOMETHING.

  • AND YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.

  • YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.

  • - THANK YOU.

  • [cheers and applause]

  • - DID THE CHOICE-- DID YOU--

  • HOW DO YOU STAY SO POSITIVE?

  • OR WERE YOU BOTH ALWAYS THIS POSITIVE

  • EVEN BEFORE THE DIAGNOSIS?

  • - I THINK WE'VE ALWAYS TRIED TO BE POSITIVE.

  • BUT, I MEAN, THROUGH THIS WHOLE EXPERIENCE,

  • YOU GET TO SEE THE LOVE AND GENEROSITY

  • OF OTHER PEOPLE ON A REGULAR BASIS.

  • I MEAN, PEOPLE HAVE REALLY COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK

  • TO HELP US, AND-- SORRY.

  • AND WE GET TO EXPERIENCE THAT EVERY DAY,

  • ON A REGULAR BASIS,

  • AND THAT'S REALLY AMAZING.

  • - YEAH, AND YOU MET ABOUT A YEAR BEFORE

  • YOU GOT MARRIED, RIGHT?

  • - ABOUT A YEAR--

  • ABOUT ALMOST TWO YEARS BEFORE--YEAH.

  • - AND WHERE DID YOU MEET? - EMT CLASS.

  • [laughs]

  • AND IT'S ACTUALLY KIND OF A FUNNY STORY.

  • SO WE MET IN EMT CLASS.

  • AND THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS, I GO OUT THERE,

  • AND, YOU KNOW, I DIDN'T SEE ANYBODY,

  • YOU KNOW, THAT CAUGHT MY EYE,

  • SO THE SECOND EMT--

  • 'CAUSE MATT WASN'T THERE. MATT WASN'T THERE.

  • YEAH, LET ME-- LET ME ELABORATE THERE.

  • [laughs]

  • AND SO THE SECOND DAY OF EMT CLASS,

  • I'M DRIVING UP,

  • AND I SEE HIM SITTING ON THE CORNER.

  • I'M LIKE, "HE IS REALLY GOOD-LOOKING,"

  • AND I WAS A MESS.

  • I DIDN'T HAVE ANY MAKEUP ON. MY HAIR WASN'T DONE.

  • I WAS LIKE, "OH, MY GOODNESS.

  • WHAT'S THIS GOOD-LOOKING MAN DOING HERE?"

  • SO WHEN I WALKED UP TO HIM,

  • I DIDN'T SAY HELLO.

  • I DIDN'T SAY, "HI, I'M JESSICA."

  • I SAID, "YOU WEREN'T HERE LAST CLASS."

  • [laughter]

  • AND HE WAS LIKE, "NO," AND I WAS LIKE--

  • I WAS JUST TAKEN ABOUT HOW GOOD-LOOKING HE WAS.

  • AND THEN HE CHASED ME AROUND FOR A COUPLE MONTHS AFTER.

  • NO, HE DIDN'T, BUT...

  • - SO DID YOU GET TOGETHER RIGHT AWAY?

  • DID YOU KNOW RIGHT AWAY, MATT,

  • THAT YOU WERE GONNA MARRY HER?

  • - I KNEW THAT FROM CONVERSATION.

  • - THE FIRST--YEAH. - YEAH, YEAH.

  • I WAS GONNA MARRY HER.

  • - FIRST CONVERSATION. - THE FIRST CONVERSATION.

  • I MEAN, THE THING ABOUT THIS DISEASE ALSO--

  • I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT ALS--

  • IS, YOUR MIND STAYS EXACTLY THE SAME.

  • YOU'RE AWARE.

  • YOU'RE COMPLETELY A BRILLIANT HUMAN BEING STILL,

  • AND YOUR BODY JUST CHANGES,

  • AND THAT IS A TOUGH THING FOR--

  • ESPECIALLY FOR ANYONE, MUCH LESS A FIRE FIGHTER.

  • AND YOU HAVE ALL THESE FIRE FIGHTERS

  • WHO HAVE TAKEN ON YOUR SHIFTS.

  • THEY'RE WORKING EXTRA SHIFTS SO YOU GET PAID.

  • - MM-HMM. - I LOVE FIRE FIGHTERS.

  • - IT'S AMAZING.

  • - [speaking indistinctly]

  • - AND THEY'VE BEEN DOING IT FOR OVER THREE YEARS NOW.

  • - YEAH, THEY WON'T STOP

  • SO THAT HE CONTINUES TO GET PAID.

  • THEY HAVE--

  • [cheers and applause]

  • I SAY IT ALL THE TIME ANYWAY.

  • I LOVE FIRE FIGHTERS.

  • I LOVE FIRE FIGHTERS,

  • AND THEY'RE AN AMAZING SUPPORT SYSTEM.

  • WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW IS, SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS ARE HERE.

  • COME ON OUT.

  • WE HAVE BILL AND JERROD--

  • [cheers and applause]

  • [sentimental music]

  • [cheers and applause]

  • WE COULDN'T FIT AS MANY PEOPLE

  • AS WE WANTED TO SURPRISE YOU WITH.

  • THIS IS A SURPRISE,

  • BUT WE HAVE A BIGGER SURPRISE.

  • SO LET'S CHECK IN WITH JEANNIE,

  • WHO IS AT YOUR FIREHOUSE IN PITTSBURGH,

  • AND LOOK AT WHO--

  • [cheers and applause]

  • HI, JEANNIE.

  • SOME ONE PITTSBURGH'S FINEST. - HI, ELLEN!

  • - JEANNIE, TELL US WHO YOU'RE THERE WITH.

  • - OH, MY GOSH, ELLEN.

  • I'M HERE WITH A BUNCH OF PITTSBURGH FIRE FIGHTERS,

  • THEIR FAMILIES, INCLUDING CAPTAIN RON BARTOLOWITS,

  • WHO HAS BEEN A PITTSBURGH FIRE FIGHTER FOR 28 YEARS.

  • - WOW, AMAZING.

  • [cheers and applause]

  • AND YOU'RE FROM ALL OVER THE CITY.

  • SO IF YOU HAVE TO GO, IF THERE'S A BELL OR SOMETHING,

  • DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO--

  • YOU DON'T NEED TO STAY AND TALK TO US.

  • YOU CAN RUN OFF IF YOU NEED TO, OKAY?