SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Family and friends of Scotch Plains resident Carol Rachko, who has been stricken with ALS, are helping to raise funds for her care. 

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. As the disease progresses, the nerve cells begin to degenerate resulting in the inability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement. As a result, the muscles begin to waste away or atrophy causing increased muscle weakness and paralysis. Muscles that are affected include the legs, feet, arms, hands and those that control swallowing and breathing. 

"Carol has lost the use of her arms and hands. She can't do anything -- scratch an itch, roll over in bed, text or answer the phone, and other things we take for granted. Just imagine," said Nancy Durett. "To top it off, she's not eligible for disability despite working for almost 40 years. It breaks my heart that she's going through this horrible disease that annihilates the body, but leaves who you are inside intact."

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Donations will go directly to the family for medical bills and renovation of bathroom to make it handicap accessible. The effort has a goal of raising $80,000. Thus far, more than $47,000 has been raise. Anyone wishing to contribute, donate here

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