Sandra is an artist living with ALS. She's the single mother of three beautiful daughters and is fighting hard to survive for them. Sandra has lost function in her arms and hands, and can no longer walk. She needs round the clock assistance with breathing machines and personal care. Everyday she does what she can to appreciate what the world has to offer, and offer what she has to the world. She's the same positive person she has always been, as a mother, artist, and friend.
Living with this condition requires constant adaptation. For instance, as an artist who has lost the use of her hands, she now paints with her feet. All of the things we take for granted – such as feeding ourselves, taking care of ourselves, moving freely about as individuals – Sandra can no longer do, and now requires the constant assistance of caregivers to do what we otherwise would do for ourselves.
Your donations have helped Sandra pay for her ever increasing needs, such as additional home care, medical equipment, a mobility van, and importantly, to maintain a decent quality of life over the past 18 months.
Sandra has dedicated her life to helping others. From Apalachicola to Rwanda, she has traveled extensively, designing a children’s playground, community gardens, and public health murals, touching the lives of people around the world. Before her illness, she worked at UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine Program in Gainesville, facilitating art projects with patients throughout the hospital. She educates people about living with ALS through talks with medical students and others in the health professions.
These activities exemplify who Sandra is as a person. Unfortunately, she has been unable to work due to the debilitating physical effects of ALS. Her financial situation has changed significantly and her medical expenses continue to grow. In addition, there are many costly technological and adaptive measures that can be implemented to make Sandra's life easier. Sandra participates in a clinical study at the Mayo Clinic and hopes to enter into clinical trials that target her form of ALS – C9ORF72 – as early as this fall. This requires travel to and from the clinic and overnight stays.
Sandra continues to create art utilizing her feet. Through her art, she has been an inspiration to others who face significant challenges in their lives. You can view her current artwork and videos of her in action on her Facebook page: Footwork by Sandra Murphy-Pak-evolving as an artist with ALS
Sandra belongs to a wonderful community of family and friends, and we are Sandra's best support. Any financial help we can offer is greatly appreciated and will mean the world to her and to all of us. Thanks to all of you who have given along the way. It has helped immeasurably and words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you so much for your time, support, friendship, and love.
- Ellen B Green
- Jenna Biewend
- Max Nolan
- Cindy Fisher
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