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Alums Start ‘Ride For Ethan’ Campaign

Bright blue eyes, a full head of hair, beautiful smile, and full of energy. At 5 years old, Ethan Demmers is possibly at the healthiest he will be in his life. Ethan was recently diagnosed with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD). Typically, people with this disease live only into their 20s. Over the next few years, the disease will slowly attack every muscle in Ethan’s body, eventually causing him to permanently be in a wheelchair. Ethan’s parents are not ready to give up their hope for a cure. They are fully committed to helping find a cure for this deadly illness, not just for their own son, but for all others suffering as well.

Ethan’s father, Dustin Demmers, is an English teacher at Floral Park Memorial High School. To the student body, Demmers can be described as funny, happy, wacky, wild, crazy, and unique among other adjectives. Demmers can be found smiling through the halls, making jokes over the loudspeakers, or making his class into the ideal environment for learning.

It is safe to say, Demmers is not your average English teacher, especially not to long-time friends and Floral Park Memorial High School alumni Jules Alonzo and Kyle Vidasolo. After hearing about Ethan’s recent diagnosis, Alonzo and Vidasolo were motivated to help. “We have the ability to help someone in need, so why not go above and beyond to try and do that,” said Alonzo.  

They are set to tackle a 200-mile bike trail, through the Grand Canyon, in support of Ethan Demmers, from Oct. 1 through Oct. 5. “He has done so many nice things for the entire student body, we figured it’s time that someone did something nice for him in return” said Vidasolo.

This campaign is meant to spread awareness for DMD, while raising money along the way. Visit www.gofundme.com/RideForEthan to make a donation in support of the ride. All of the donations will go towards medicine, medical equipment, future home renovations to meet Ethan’s needs, and perhaps even giving Ethan some journeys of his own. Since July 17, the crowdfunding site has collected $3,350 of the duo’s $10,000 goal.

Visit www.mda.org to learn more about muscular dystrophy. Help Ethan, and others like him, by spreading his story on social media. Awareness is the first step to help make a cure a reality.

Editor’s note: A separate upcoming event is also planned to benefit the Demmers family. The Ethan Demmers Coed 6s Beach Volleyball Charity Tournament will be held on Sunday, Aug. 17 on Riverside Drive in Long Beach at 10 a.m. See this week’s calendar listing feature for more information.

News

County sponsors Narcan training at high school

Long Island communities are waging a war against prescription drug abuse and a rampant heroin epidemic. The county launched a free public training program in 2012 to teach ordinary citizens the signs of an overdose and how to reverse its effects using a drug called Narcan.

Garden City High School hosted one of these training events on Oct. 9 as a packed auditorium of parents and community members gathered to learn the skills needed to potentially save a life. Floral Park will host the event in December.

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.


Calendar

Next Generation of Spirit Communication

Friday, October 24

FPMHS Athletic Booster Club Fundraiser

Sunday, October 26

Harvest Fair

Saturday, November 1



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