This October, I will be running the Chicago Marathon in support of Lori Blanco. Lori is the mom of one of my best friends, Elyssa, and her sister Emma. In July 2019, Lori was diagnosed with a rapid-onset form of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease to which there is presently no known cure.
Over the course of my 20+ year friendship with Elyssa, I have witnessed Lori's constant generosity, patience, and kindness towards her family and friends. When we were kids in New Hampshire, Lori hosted our slumber parties, attended our soccer games, and once even judged a bake-off that took over her kitchen. In more recent years, I have attended multiple family vacations with Lori's daughters, parents, and sisters in New Hampshire, Florida, and the city of Chicago (see image of Elyssa, Lori, and I enjoying a mega-marg at Gino's East in Chicago)! Lori has always been tremendously welcoming, energetic, compassionate, and encouraging of joy and laughter.
As Lori and her family begin to navigate life with ALS, they will need supportive care. Lori and her husband, John, are currently based in Florida, but pursuing a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital. The pursuit of treatment options will require medical procedures, home modifications and assistance, transportation costs, etc. At this time, I am asking for your support in hopes of returning the positivity and generosity that Lori has always shown her loved ones.
Donations on this CrowdRise page will benefit The ALS Association, a non-profit organization committed to fighting ALS through awareness, research, and care.
To donate directly to Lori and her family, please do so on my GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/fund-for-lori-living-with-als-chicago-marathon