This year's Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Walk fundraising has begun and this year is especially close to my heart. Please take the time to read and consider making your donation online today or by mail to me and I will turn in your check on the day of the walk.

The Catherine Caldarella Memorial Fund for Home Health Aide Assistance Program, named in memory of my friend Lisa Moore's mom who lost her battle to MS at the young age of 52. She was in a nursing home because she could not get homecare with a home health aide. Recently another one of my friend's mother lost her battle with MS as well, she too was living in a nursing home because of the same reason. Sadly this happens all too often.

Having the ability to get home health aides when our insurance either doesn't pay for it, or they only allocate a certain amount of visits can mean the difference between keeping a loved one at home with their family or making the family make the difficult choice of having to place that loved one into long-term care at a nursing facility.

In August 2007, I held a third party event that raised enough money to create a new program within our local National MS Society Long Island Chapter. The program is now called "The Catherine Caldarella Memorial Fund for Home Health Aide Assistance Program." Monies donated to this program will help families here on Long Island receive assistance in having a home health aide when the need arises, hopefully delaying or preventing long-term nursing facility admissions which break our families apart and inevitably our desire to fight lessens.

I am proud to say that 100 percent of this year's MS WALK funding will be donated and restricted to this program so that we can continue to help our families on Long Island stay together.

Please help me by helping my new program, our chapter's new program - Long Island's new program. For more information, email lbfightsms@optonline.net. To make a donation online, visit http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/NYHWalkEvents?px=1700814&pg=personal&fr_id=9781&s_tafId=95599. Checks, payable to NMSS LI Chapter, can also be sent to Lisa Zeankowski, 7 Picture Lane, Hicksville, NY 11801.

Lisa Zeankowski

Team Captain

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, LI Chapter

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