$2,490 of $10,000
32 donations

This fundraiser ended on 07/17/12

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We are raising money to help Melanie and her battle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The events of 2011 that led up to Melanie, loving wife of 17 years, mother, sister, daughter and friend to so many being diagnosed with A.L.S. seemed as though they could be explained. She pulled out her summer shoes in March and had difficulty walking. (She thought she had two different heels on) She had a fall and threw out her shoes as she thought they were to blame. Then she put on a pair of heels and could not walk without her right foot giving out. Several doctor visits (many painful tests) led to neurologists and a second opinion at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Florida resulted in (July 2011 at the age of 40) our fears of a diagnosis of A.L.S. She is no longer working as she is focused on her family,conserving energy and preparing for living with this as long as she possibly can. Learning to live with ALS and all the medical costs for medical visits, medications and equipment needed to support Melanie during this time is why we are raising money to help offset these expenses for her family. Some have asked to send a donation in the form of a check feel free to e-mail us for the address if needed. Please join us in helping by contributing to her medical expenses by making a donation. With her family and friends, Melanie is determined to continue researching the resources available to help her live with this disease.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. In ALS, as motor neurons get sick and die, a person progressively loses the ability to move: to walk, speak, swallow, and breathe. ALS is usually fatal within 2-5 years of diagnosis.
In ALS, both the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons degenerate or die, ceasing to send messages to muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, waste away (atrophy), and twitch (fasciculations) . Eventually, the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost.
ALS causes weakness with a wide range of disabilities. Eventually, all muscles under voluntary control are affected, and patients lose their strength and the ability to move their arms, legs, and body. When muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail, patients lose the ability to breathe without ventilatory support. ALS does not affect a person's ability to see, smell, taste, hear, or recognize touch.
No cure has yet been found for ALS. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug treatment for the disease—riluzole (Rilutek). Riluzole is believed to reduce damage to motor neurons by decreasing the release of glutamate. Riluzole does not reverse the damage already done to motor neurons, and patients taking the drug must be monitored for liver damage and other possible side effects.
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