Monique’s Story

Monique’s Story

Pursue your purpose

Meet Monique

Monique always felt a strong calling to care for socially marginalized people. As a nurse practitioner, she worked with HIV patients, especially pregnant women, whom she supported outside of work as well through community advocacy groups. After receiving an ALS diagnosis at 32, Monique continues to share her knowledge through a nonprofit that provides training for nurses in developing countries. As her speech and mobility have been affected, Monique uses an AAC device she controls with the movement of her eyes to work and communicate.

Monique’s early stages of ALS

While Monique was working toward her advanced degree in nursing, she noticed she had difficulty speaking outside in the wintertime. At first, she brushed it off as a heightened sensitivity to cold, but when her symptoms continued into the spring, she sought a diagnosis. When a second doctor confirmed her ALS diagnosis, Monique’s first thought was for her young daughter, Lola. Fortunately, Monique progressed slowly through the stages of ALS, and was able to enjoy their car trips and baking sessions for years following her diagnosis. She was also able to finish her degree and continue working during that time.

“It gives me a sense of purpose, knowing that I can still contribute my knowledge in a meaningful way.”

— Monique Green

Life with assistive technology

When her ALS symptoms significantly impaired her speech and mobility in 2017, Monique stopped practicing. Eventually, she found a new way to contribute: creating nursing curricula for developing countries.

As part of her ongoing ALS treatment, Monique’s SLP introduced her to Tobii Dynavox in 2022. She had been using a speech-generating device that didn’t quite suit her and found the I-Series more intuitive and compatible with her needs. Monique relies on her I-Series not only to converse with the people around her, but also to make her contributions to the international nursing community.  

She uses an app called Communicator 5 to complete her assignments and prepare answers when she participates in panel discussions. Monique also uses her I-Series for fun: surfing the Internet, virtually meeting with friends, online shopping and texting with TD Phone. When her hands tire from using a joystick to move her wheelchair, she relies on an app called Ability Drive to control it through eye-movement.

Young woman using her TD I-Series in a room

Reasons to hope

Beyond Lola and her parents, who she calls her “muscle”, Monique has found a supportive network with Her ALS Story, a group of women whom, like her, received an ALS diagnosis prior to their 35th birthday. The organization works to dispel the stereotype that ALS only affects older white males. Monique is the organization’s Head of Celebrations and coordinates gift exchanges and celebratory social media. Though losing some independence has been difficult, Monique finds joy in watching her daughter grow into adulthood, and purpose in continuing her mission to support health disparaged populations around the world.