Williams Lake businesses and families have teamed up to help a young mom of two girls diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Cleanway Supply will be supplying coffee by donation at Handi Mart at 998 McKinnon Road near Panago Pizza from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 in support of Adrienne Kelso.
Jenn Stasica with Cleanway Supply held back tears as she spoke of her friend she had met while working night shifts at Walmart.
The two women later switched to day shifts, and while Kelso worked in the backroom and Stasica was the department manager on the floor, their shifts were the same and they would always eat lunch together.
Stasica said they were even pregnant at the same time with their first kids, who were in soccer together and went to the pool all the time.
“It (ALS) is the most cruel thing that I have ever seen and it’s much more heartbreaking because she’s so young, and she is a mom, and she was on maternity leave when all this started happening,” she said.
“Even before she was diagnosed, she was too afraid to go out and do the things because she knew that she could fall at any time so we haven’t really been able to do a lot anymore.”
There is no cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which claims the lives of approximately 80 per cent of people within two to five years of being diagnosed, notes the ALS Society of Canada.
Because the brain can no longer communicate with the muscles of the body, the motor neuron disease gradually paralyzes people who lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.
Stasica started crying as she described how Kelso would crochet and had decided to take it up herself, receiving lots of help from Kelso even launching a side gig called Baby Seal Crochet that she said would not have been possible without her.
Healthcare aides assist Kelso, although they are limited by being unable to lift her. Stasica said Kelso’s husband Kyle is the only person who can do so and that he has been on EI from his job as a boilermaker to help look after her and that will be running out soon.
“She’s the most laid-back person you’ve ever met. Even through all this I’ve never seen her cry, not to say that she hasn’t; of course she has,” Stasica said.
“But she really looks at the positive and focuses on what she still can do even though she is deteriorating.”
Funds raised will go towards transportation for Kelso to get around with her family.
A prize draw for two free medium pizzas will also be available.
For more information on how to donate, contact Cleanway Supply in Williams Lake.