Five months ago, Michelle Krasovec’s life changed. She had been feeling tired and noticed a weakness in her arms and legs and after months of going to see the doctors she was told she had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The condition is caused by the degeneration of upper and lower neurons located in the spinal cord. The disorder is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease that leaves those who suffer from it weak with muscle atrophy and respiratory problems.
The rate of the disease progression varies from person to person but eventually patients are unable to stand or walk and have trouble performing daily tasks as they lose use of their hands and arms. Krasovec’s condition has degenerated quite quickly over the last few months, leaving her in a wheelchair.
The mother of two college-bound sons, Krasovec had to close her business, Borrowed Hands Personal Chef Service, last December when the disease began to progress rapidly and she no longer was able to perform her duties.
The progressive onset of the disease has presented a huge financial challenge for Krasovec and her family, as she needs a fitted wheelchair, an elevator for her home, an appropriately-equipped vehicle and home renovations to allow her the use of her wheelchair that will cost close to $50,000.
“This has all happened very quickly and for someone that has just turned 39 years old it is devastating,” said Kim Carroll, a close friend of Krasovec. “She is a very good friend to me, she has supported me through tough times, encouraged me in career decisions, made me laugh and helped me cry.”
Krasovec, an Elmira resident since 1996, has had many strong ties to the community as she has volunteered with Community Care Concepts, the Family fun Weekend, Tim Hortons Camp Day golf tournament, the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Two years ago she volunteered with Random Act of Kindness Day (RAK) in Kitchener and was instrumental in bringing RAK to the Township of Woolwich last year. She was also nominated for the 2010 Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Rogers Woman of the Year in the professional category and is an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Elmira branch.
In April friends and family are hosting a Fun Casino Night at Lions Hall in Elmira to help raise funds to offset some the expenses Krasovec has endured.
“(She) can’t even get in and out of her own house because of the stairs. She didn’t plan for this and wasn’t expecting to renovate her home and we, her friends and family, just want to make sure she is comfortable,” said Carroll. “ALS is a terrible disease that is all too quickly taking away the strength, control and independence that is the essence of (Krasovec). As a friend, it is devastating to watch this happen to someone so young and vibrant. I still admire her strength and stubbornness though as she is fighting the progression of this disease with literally, every step she takes.”
Tickets to the event are $20 which will give guests admission and $200 in fun casino chips. Additional chips can be purchased through the night for those who are a bit down on their luck. There will be numerous door prizes, a silent auction and a live auction held at midnight where guest can bid on items including a barbecue, a 40” flat screen TV a set of men’s golf clubs.
“A lot of people have come together to help out with this event and it just shows how many lives (Krasovec) has touched and how appreciated she is in the community,” said Carroll.
The event will be held on Apr. 13, with doors opening at 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. Tickets are available by contacting Kim Carroll at 519-669-0069. Donations can be made to Krasovec at any TD Canada Trust bank under a trust in her name.