By TIM CLEVELAND
Since she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, last October, former Boardman High School teacher Chris Terlesky has had an outpouring of support from area schools and businesses, which have raised money to help her fight the disease.
According to the ALS Association, the disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
Terlesky said she’s been fighting hard against the debilitating disease.
“I’m doing OK. I’ve lost a lot of strength,” she said. “My muscles are starting to atrophy.”
Another fundraiser was on June 7 at Creekside Fitness. The event was hosted outdoors during beautiful weather. The event was called Spin for Chris. There were 40 spinning bikes set up in the Creekside Fitness parking lot. Participants paid either $100 per hour to spin or corporate sponsors could pay $500 for five hours spin time with their corporate logo on the bike.
There was also a dunk tank in which Chris’ son, Tyler, took the plunge into the water, as well as a raffle to give away a spin bike donated by Star Trac, a bake sale and T-shirts.
“Chris is a member at Creekside and she joined our spinning classes,” said Creekside Fitness’ Lori Hillman, who helped organize the event. “Then she ended up falling ill and has ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. We just wanted to support her and her family. They’re Boardman people. We really enjoy our members so we wanted to do something special for her.”
Hillman said she hoped to raise $20,000 from the event.
“Not even our members, we have the other storefronts here that have really helped out,” she said. “Just businesses all over the Boardman-Canfield area really have supported her and supported this event. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for an event.”
Terlesky said she’s been overwhelmed by the support of the community.
“It’s just unbelievable,” she said. “Last year, I was working out here all the time. It’s amazing how you make relationships through different things. It’s just an amazing community.”