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Community and school chip in for Chris

March 27, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

A spaghetti fundraiser will be held from noon to 6 p.m. April 6 at the Boardman High School cafeteria to help raise funds to benefit Christine Terlesky, a teacher recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

''We found out in September and we were all devastated,'' Nadine Colla, Christine's sister. ''When we heard this as a family, it was like there was nothing we could do.''

ALS attacks the neurons in the brain causing loss of muscle control. It can eventually lead to death, but there have been clinical trials that offered hope for those afflicted. Colla and her family, along with parents Ron and Judy Moschella researched the clinical trials, but found it would take some funding to get Christine into one. Colla said some of the trials are showing signs of success.

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Brian and Christine Terlesky and their children Tyler, 9, Emma, 5, and Brian, 14, are looking forward an April 6 fundraiser at Boardman High School that will raise the needed funds for Christine to get into a clinical trial to deal with her diagnosis of ALS.

Christine's family, as well as close friends and co-workers at Boardman High School, put together a fundraiser to get Christine into one of the programs. According to Colla, the goal is to raise close to $30,000.

In a short time, every school building in Boardman was informed of the fundraiser and all jumped on board offering everything from baked goods for a bake sale, to baskets to be raffled off at the spaghetti dinner.

Christine is a social studies teacher at Boardman High School. She has spent 19 years in education, recently coached the girl's golf team and assisted with the girl's basketball team. One of her friends in the school system is Jeff Hammerton, a fourth grade teacher. He was instrumental in getting the ball rolling for Christine and is offering as much support as he can.

''The Terlesky family is very close to my family and are great people,'' he said. ''They truly appreciate all of the support the community has given them so far.''

Both he and Colla know there is an urgency to get Christine in a clinic trial program. Colla said time is of the essence as the clinical trials only work with patients who are in the early stages of ALS. After two years, a patient is no longer eligible and won't be accepted.

Hammerton said a foundation has been started up in Christine's behalf called ''Chip In For Chris!'' Donations for the Chip for Chris! fundraising effort can be made at Huntington Bank.



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