ALS, at 41. Please help this family

I have had the pleasure of knowing the Peterek family for over 20 years. Tricia Peterek has been my closest friend since I was very young. Her sister Martha and her parents were family to me for many years. They are some of the most compassionate and honest people I know. Anyone who knows any of them would most likely agree. Several months ago Martha woke up and found it difficult to speak without slurring words. In the recent months she has started to have difficulty swallowing and difficulty moving her hands. Today they got the terrible news that Martha, at the young age of 41, was diagnosed with ALS.

ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a very progressive neurological disease without a cure that attacks the nerve cells in the spinal cord that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement. This results in muscle weakness, paralysis and loss of motor functions.
There is no cure for ALS, but treatments do exist. There is a new treatment that has recently been approved for use in the United States that has been proven to significantly reduce the decline in physical function, resulting in a much higher quality of life and a possible increased lifespan. Unfortunately, the cost of the drug, given by infusion, is $146,000 a year, in which we are unaware at this time what portion of this Medicare will cover.

Martha is the most loving, kind hearted, non judgemental person many of us will ever have the pleasure of knowing. She does not have a mean bone in her body and she would give you the shirt off of her back if you needed it. You will see her smiling and making jokes through every stage of this because she will not want her family to see her suffer. Martha is known for her complete selflessness, incredible sense of humor and ability to make you laugh, her love of music and her passion for animals and children.

Martha and Tricia currently  live at home in their childhood home in Romeoville, IL with their parents Dan and MaryEllyn.  Martha has stayed close to home throughout her life while Tricia just moved back home 2 years ago from California to be closer to her family. This is a very close, tight knit family. Tricia and Martha are not only sisters but definitely best friends.

The goal in raising money for this family is to help relieve as much of the financial burden as possible during this time, and see to it that Martha receives the absolute best medical care available regardless of the cost, as well as to enable them to spend as much quality time together as a family as possible. The funds raised would help cover medical costs and loss of income. Dan is semi-retired, while MaryEllyn is retired.

Donations could give them some precious quality time and help alleviate some of the overwhelming financial burden.
This family has not asked for money. The Petereks are not the type to solicit donations. Money will not cure this disease. However, during this time, they truly deserve as much as we can give them. Not only do they deserve to care for their daughter without significant financial burden, they deserve the ability to take Martha on the vacation of her dreams. Maybe we can make that happen!

Dan, and MaryEllyn will now be the sole caretakers of their daughter with a severe disability. Their daily lives are now forever changed.

Please donate what you can.  Every dollar helps. Share this GoFundMe campaign. Let's do what we can to help this amazing family during the most difficult time of their lives.


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  • Carrie O'Donnell 
    • $20 
    • 33 mos
  • Jennifer Brumfield 
    • $50 
    • 33 mos
  • Solomi Chappidi 
    • $100 
    • 34 mos
  • Sabrina Smallwood  
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 37 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Julie Allen 
Romeoville, IL
Patricia Peterek 
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