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Help Laurena battle ALS

$18,050 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 201 people in 7 months
Created June 9, 2018
Kristen Manforte Lynn
on behalf of Laurena McCarthy
For those of you who don't know me, I am Laurena McCarthy's niece.  As many of you know, Laurena, a lovingly devoted teacher, wife, and mother of three boys (Justin, Brandon, and Max) was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) last summer.  In the span of a year the disease has progressed rapidly and Laurena and her family are now faced with the immediate need and expense of modifying their home so that she may remain there with her family. 


Anyone who knows Laurena knows that she dedicated her life to others.  An elementary school teacher for more than 20 years, she spent her days leading up to her diagnosis devoted to helping her students reach their highest potential.  During summer breaks from school, Laurena founded and ran multiple summer camps, including one which served underprivileged children from inner cities and taught them how to care for farm animals.  Another focused on making science exciting and fun. Laurena's passion has always been to nurture a child’s natural curiosities and encourage them to believe in themselves regardless of their circumstances, just as she believed in them.

Laurena’s diagnosis came as a shock to all, and the quick progression has devastated the family’s finances.  Laurena's only wish is to remain in her home with her husband and children.  This is especially important in light of Max's young age.

Money raised through this fundraiser will go towards the medical equipment and services necessary to keep Laurena in her home with her family.  Some of these expenses include a wheelchair for when the disease robs her of the ability to use her legs, a voice machine for when it steals her vocal chords, lifts, handicap accessible ramps, handicap accessible transportation, modifications to their home and so much more.  Any help that you can provide to them will go a long way to helping them cope with this tragic diagnosis. 

Laurena has given so much of herself to her family, friends, students, and community. She has handled her circumstances and her new norm with unwavering grace in true Laurena fashion. Many people whose lives she's touched have asked how they can help. Please donate to this cause if you are able.

If you would like to donate services or equipment please contact me directly at kmanforte@yahoo.com.

On behalf of the McCarthy and Flynn families, thank you so much for all the support you have shown and continue to provide. We would also like to extend a special thank you to the professionals who have donated their time and services, Justin Podbielski and Kathleen Cassidy of Barnum Financial Services.  





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Update 5
Posted by Kristen Manforte Lynn
1 month ago
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Please see an update below from Billy’s cousin, Liz. Liz has donated much of her time and efforts to Laurena and her family during this difficult time. Thank you Liz!

In June, this Gofundme page was created for Laurena as the physical effects of ALS started to markedly limit her mobility. To date, generous friends, extended family members, former students and even people who never met Laurena donated $16,715 to offset the avalanche of expenses her family is incurring resulting from this horrible disease. Laurena, Bill and the rest of their family extend their deepest gratitude to everybody who has contributed to date.

It's six months later, and Laurena has experienced a substantial decline in her mobility, motor skills and speech. It's becoming increasingly difficult for her to leave her home. Her husband Bill broke ground on a wheelchair accessible addition in early October, so that Laurena can remain in her home. Unfortunately progress has been slow due to a rainy fall, plus the fact that Bill is doing much of the work himself when not attending to the demands of his job and caring for his wife and family. This past weekend Bill started framing the house with his brother and cousin - slow and overwhelming work for 3 people.

The direct and indirect financial costs of this disease are catastrophic, even without factoring in the expense of home modifications and an upcoming purchase of a wheelchair accessible van.

A donation - or another donation - in honor of Laurena can make a great holiday gift and would be deeply appreciated. Timing is critical to get the funding to complete the addition in the next several weeks.

Laurena, Bill and the rest of their family extend their best wishes to everybody for a joyful holiday season and a happy new year.

Thank you!
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Update 4
Posted by Kristen Manforte Lynn
7 months ago
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The support from family, friends, community, and students has been so amazing! For those of you who have left comments, I have been doing my best to pass them along to Laurena so that she can see how much she is loved and appreciated. For the students and parents- each of your comments has brought me to tears- I can only imagine how moved Laurena must feel.

If anybody has a message for Laurena, please feel free to post it here and I will be sure to pass it on to her.

Also, please continue to share this page on your social media sites. We are getting closer and closer to our goal everyday thanks to you all!!!
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Update 3
Posted by Kristen Manforte Lynn
7 months ago
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Laurena is so touched by the comments that are being left. She remembers each student and parent who has posted here and these comments remind her why she became a teacher.
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Update 2
Posted by Kristen Manforte Lynn
7 months ago
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We hit $5,000 today! Soon Max will be able to leave for school in the mornings knowing that his mom is safe in their own home. Thank you everyone!
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$18,050 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 201 people in 7 months
Created June 9, 2018
Kristen Manforte Lynn
on behalf of Laurena McCarthy
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