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Help multiple sclerosis patient return home


Dear Editor: We are writing to you from St. Thomas, Ont. about our dear friends Mary (Walsh) and Craig Smith, who grew up in Gander and moved to Ontario in 1997. Many of their family and friends still reside in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor. We are trying to reach as many people as possible through family and friends using e-mail. We strongly believe that with the assistance of a newspaper we could reach thousands of more people. Our goal is to have Mary home with her family for Christmas.

Dear Editor:

We are writing to you from St. Thomas, Ont. about our dear friends Mary (Walsh) and Craig Smith, who grew up in Gander and moved to Ontario in 1997. Many of their family and friends still reside in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor.

We are trying to reach as many people as possible through family and friends using e-mail. We strongly believe that with the assistance of a newspaper we could reach thousands of more people. Our goal is to have Mary home with her family for Christmas.

Mary, 41, is a loving wife and mother of three who is currently struggling with a severe case of multiple sclerosis (MS). She was diagnosed in 1993. Mary has been bedridden since 2004 due to the deterioration of her muscles. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system and can cause a variety of symptoms, including muscle weakness, depression, difficulty with coordination and speech, severe fatigue, cognitive impairment, problems with balance, overheating and pain. In more severe cases, such as Mary's, it can cause impaired mobility and disability.

In January 2007, Mary had to leave the comfort of her family and home due to complications with her disease. She is bedridden in the St. Joseph's Health Centre, a long-term care facility located in Guelph, Ont., struggling with her illness. The thoughts of her husband Craig and her three daughters are her only positive outlet and inspiration. Until a special bed can be purchased by her family, Mary is unable to return home.

Raising three children and trying to save $34,000 for a special bed on a single income is proving to be quite a challenge for Craig. Everyday Craig brings the girls, Veronica (age 6), and twins Sammy and Alex (age 3) to visit their mother for a short period of time. Coping at home with her illness will help ease her pain as well as allow her children to grow with their mother by their side.

To assist Craig in bringing Mary home to be with her family we are accepting donations on the Smith family's behalf. A bank account has been set up at BMO Bank of Montreal in St. Thomas (transit number 2405, account number 8111-041).

If you are unable to use the bank account, donations can be mailed to Craig Smith; c/o 38 McGregor Court; St. Thomas, ON; Canada; N5P 4H7 (please note it is for the Bring Mary Home Fund.

Thanks very much and may God bless.

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