Help Karen Fight ALS

My name is David Russ. Karen and I have been married 24 years. In October 2012, Karen was happily working as a Certified Nurse's Aide, providing care for elderly and disabled patients in a rehab center. She began showing symptoms she did not understand, weakness and then atrophy in her left hand and arm. Little did she know that within a few short months, she would be receiving the same type of care she had been lovingly providing to "her" patients.

On April 15, 2013, Karen was diagnosed with an insidious disease. ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis also known as (Lou Gehrig's Disease). It is a motor neuron disease that steals away the ability of her muscles to work. Karen was told that she has 2 to 5 years life expectancy; however, her progression appears to be more rapid than what is considered the norm. Her breathing has been affected to the extent that she now spends all night and some of the day on a ventilator.

Needless to say, we have been devastated financially. I am retired, having worked 35 years in law enforcement and corrections.
I am now Karen's sole full-time caregiver. We have been very fortunate and thankful that the MDA has provided a loaner power chair and some other equipment that Karen needs. We are unable to finance her transportation needs. Karen's ALS physician and clinic is in Dallas, TX, more than 100 miles from where we live. We would like to see a specialist in Houston for the possibility of a diaphragm pacer procedure to extend her breathing capacity and give her more time. ALS is terminal usually due to respiratory failure.

Karen understands the outcome of her disease and has so far remained stoic about all this. She simply would like to have the ability to leave the house occasionally and we need a wheel chair accessible van to transport her in the power chair. We are seeking assistance to purchase a used van.
A dependable used handicapped van is priced between $15,000 - $20,000. Any donation amount will be received with heartfelt gratitude.
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Organizer

Karen Parmley Russ 
Organizer
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