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Community Rallying to Help Local Mom Afford Life-Changing Tech

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator / 800.642.8399


Give Karole a Hand – Literally – to Live Well with SMA with ‘Miraculous’ Robotic Arm

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz.—Living with spinal muscular atrophy, 55-year-old Karole MacFarlane is highly independent. However, from time to time, she still needs a hand—literally. Karole is fundraising for an innovative device called a JACO robotic arm that will dramatically improve her ability to be self-sufficient. To bring this goal within reach, her Queen Creek community is partnering with the national fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live.

“Imagine you’re sitting at home alone and a mosquito lands on your nose. You drop your phone, and you can’t pick it up. You have no way of drinking water by yourself. What do you do?” Karole lives with the mobility challenges and limitations of SMA. SMA is progressive, so she has slow but steady loss of capabilities with speaking, moving, and even breathing and swallowing. Today, Karole has no use of her arms or legs—“I am virtually a head in a wheelchair,” she puts it.

Living with SMA does not prevent Karole from loving life and fully engaging with her family and community. “I live a really full life with my wonderful husband and daughter and their constant support,” Karole explained. But her eyes were opened to an even more self-sufficient way of life when she first encountered the JACO robotic arm at a Phoenix disability conference.

The technology would truly change everything about Karole’s day-to-day. “I could feed myself, go outside on my own, and be less of a burden on my family,” she explained. Unfortunately, Karole’s insurance has repeatedly denied her requests to help her afford this life-changing technology.

That’s why Karole’s loved ones have turned to the national medical fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live. Donations can be made at:

Unlike a GoFundMe, donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.

“It would be nothing short of miraculous to not have to continue relying on others for my care,” Karole said. “You wouldn’t just be helping me—you’d be helping everyone who’s taking time off work and life to help me every day.”

An upcoming online scavenger hunt fundraiser from August 2 to September 16 provides a fun and unique way to get involved in Karole’s fundraising efforts. Find details and sign up at:

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $165 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin