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Lake Mary Family Searches for Hope and Help in Their Battle with ALS

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


Fundraising Will Bring Critical Needs Within Reach for the MacDonalds

LAKE MARY, Fla.—In 2018, 48-year-old Viviane MacDonald and her husband received the news that no family ever wants to hear: Vivi was diagnosed with ALS. Facing a battle with a terminal disease with no treatment or cure, Vivi’s priority is to enjoy life and spend time with her husband and children. They’ve started a fundraising campaign with the nonprofit Help Hope Live for a wheelchair van, a critical tool to enable Vivi to continue to enjoy her life and engage with the community with her family.

ALS is a progressive disease that is always fatal. It impacts brain and spinal cord nerve cells. As the spinal cord degenerates and scars, the brain can no longer communicate with the muscles of the body, which leads to the progressive loss of muscle movement and difficulty speaking, eating, moving, and breathing. There is currently no treatment or cure for ALS.

When Vivi was diagnosed with ALS three years ago, her husband Brian was already fighting a health battle of his own against kidney failure. He received a life-changing kidney transplant in September 2019 while their struggle with ALS was beginning to unfold. Brian and Vivi’s children are ten and seven years old.

“We fully understand our chances,” explained Brian. “We just want to spend fun time with our kids and let Vivi enjoy her life as much as she can. If we lose this battle with ALS, my boys will have great last memories with their mom. I am desperate to give my wife every chance at happiness.”

One critical component of Vivi’s happiness is transportation and mobility. Insurance has refused to cover the wheelchair van that Vivi needs to continue to leave her home and spend time in the community with her husband and children, leaving the MacDonalds with a $50,000 out-of-pocket cost. That’s why Brian turned to the national fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live.

Donations can be made at:

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.

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 $158 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin