When Rebekah McManus, a pharmacy technician at Market Street Apothecary in Corning, New York, learned that a woman who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, needed a motorized wheelchair to help her stay independent, she thought about holding a fundraiser. She contacted her Facebook friend Michael “Mick” McCartney, who owns two health care businesses in the Buffalo, New York, area to see if he could help. Ms. McManus said, “Tuesday at work we learned that Shelly Cromwell is in the advanced stages of ALS. I was talking to my boss and I said, ‘I am going to call Mick. He and I are Facebook friends.’ When I told him about Shelly, he said to me, ‘Becky, for you, I will do it for free.’” Mr. McCartney provided the motorized wheelchair free of charge; he simply wants it returned to him when it is no longer needed. Ms. Cromwell said about Mr. McCartney, “This is the most wonderful thing. I don’t even know him at all.” She added, “You do not know what this means to me. Now, I can go from room to room without asking someone to do something for me. I can do for myself and that makes me felt good. I am happier now that I can get around.” Mr. McCartney said, “Thank goodness for Facebook. When Becky called me, she told me there was a 39-year-old woman in an advanced stage of ALS. I figured I could help someone with their quality of life. I have been in this business for 16 years. Your insurance doesn’t cover a lot of things, and some people do not even have insurance.” Ms. McManus and Mr. McCartney went to high school together in Cooperstown, New York. They each moved away, but they used Facebook to keep in touch. Ms. McManus said, “This is such a wonderful story. I had no idea he was going to just give her one. This is really a good deed.” ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease, affects motor neurons, making the brain unable to initiate and control muscle movement.
For Further Information: Cathy B. Koplen, “Cooperstown native helps woman in need: Facebook friends aids ALS patient.” The Cooperstown Crier (New York). 21 March 2013
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