You did it! We've reached our goal. The youcaring webpage, combined with last night's dinner/dance raised enough money to donate to the ALS Association of Michigan, in return for use of the handicap accessible van for Diane. Not only does this 'free' Diane; but it will help countless other Michigan families who are dealing with ALS. There are over 1,000 ALS patients at any given time, in our state alone. I believe we will be shutting down this webpage; but I will wait a day until I've spoken with family members. As for the van, it arrived Friday morning needing new 'lock-downs' for the wheelchair. But, once Steve and Eric cared for that, they were able to bring Diane up to the hall to watch us decorate. But, what is even more phenomenal is that Diane attended the dinner/dance from start to finish - the three hours of the dinner; and another four for the dance. The food was good, the service and commraderie was great, and the dinner singer (Vehicle City Lullaby) and the dance band (Szygy) were super-super-duper! I'll make another post soon. Thank you all so much, and THANK YOU - YOUCARING - for making this site available. Colleen Pace
Wow! $8,700!!! We're almost there! A number of us were at the K of C Hall in Owosso last night; setting up tables for tonight's dinner/dance. It looks really nice - little green and yellow rose pots on pink table covers - very Spring! More importantly! ... Members of the ALS Society in Troy delivered the van yesterday - on good faith! We've given them half the needed funds. There was a problem with the lock-downs. Seems the van was designed for the wheelchair to be driven up the ramp on the side of the van and then locked down in the DRIVER'S position - so a non-ambulatory person could drive. Well, much as she would like to, we are not putting diane behind the wheel! But, Steve got on the horn, and Eric took off for Lansing to get some new parts. Some hundreds of dollars in title, insurance and lock-down-apparatus (apparati?) later, THEY BROUGHT DIANE TO THE HALL TO SEE HOW THE SET UP WAS COMING ALONG! Her first taste of freedom. It was so great to see her roll through the door. THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH! Hope to see many of you in Owosso tonight. For those of you who live too far, Thank You, Thank You So Much!
BREAKING NEWS!!!! The ALS Society has decided that our good-faith effort is going well enough that they are DELIVERING THE VAN THIS FRIDAY!!! We will give them what we have collected so far; and give them the rest after the dinner/dance. Steve has details and is working directly with Paula at the Michigan ALS. CAN'T WAIT TO POST A PICTURE!!! We love you, Diane. And, even though she can't talk right now, we all know how much she appreciates everyone turning out on her behalf. Thank you, thank you, so much!
Hello Everyone ~ Sorry to have been off the sight for more than a week. My husband and I went out of town. When we returned home, our bathroom shower had been transformed by magical carpenters into a completely open format so we can roll Diane right in. Can't wait to get her over here to try it out! Wish that van were here!!!!
On other fronts, Diane has had her feeding tube inserted and I've not heard burps from the peanut gallery; so it must be working well. She also has received a flat screen / computer whatever that has a number of functions - all manipulated by Diane's eyes. There was a problem with the stand that made it unstable - and stability is essential for the equipment to track Diane's retinal movements - but it's been replaced and she's on the road to becoming expert. Well, she's reading a Kindle book on it; and flipping the pages with her eyes. That's pretty cool. It does a lot more than that so, when I get an update, I'll post.
Plans for the dinner are coming along great. Hope most of you who are reading this will be able to join us. Even though I don't recognize many of the names being added to this site every day, I do know that a good number of you do not live near Owosso. Bummer! If you've not received an informational flyer for the dinner/dance, e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org; and I'll send it as an attachment. It's going to be a hard year; but this will be a great party!
As a small aside, when you processed your PayPal donation, you may have noticed that the money went to the American Association of Riding Schools. That is what will show up on your bank account, too. That is my (Diane's sister) PayPal account; and the money is being transferred to a checking account that was set up for Diane's health care; and later to the ALS Society of Michigan. PayPal wouldn't let me add a second checking account to my e-mail address without compromising my business account...
Finally, about the van...I spoke with Linda at ALS today. She said they are quite sure they will be signing over / loaning Steve and Diane a 2005 van with 65K miles on it; instead of the original offer of a van (still good) with 120K miles. And, she seems to think they will be able to make the transfer this coming Monday; the day after the Fundraiser. She said the Board felt we were making an incredible good-faith effort to raise the money in support of the ALS Society. Pretty exciting! Steve should know more tomorrow or Wednesday.
Thank you so much for your wonderful contributions,
On behalf of the entire family,
I have the responsibility of keeping this up today so here goes. Mom is back to doing well today after dealing with some health issues last week. She had a friend come over and read to her on Friday, which she very much enjoyed. Eric got a much needed break and went up north for the weekend :-) Yesterday my aunt Carol and I took mom to Carol's friend Jennifer's house so mom could have a full shower like all the rest of us. Jennifer's house is handicap equipped and she so kindly lets us have free run of her home! We colored her hair and got her all "buffed and polished"as my dad says haha!
Today was a busy, noisy day. The carpenters arrived to tear out one wall of our old shower to make room for Diane's wheelchair. But this old house, built in the '40's, threw a monkey wrench into their day. It's a much more durable old shower than they thought; ultimately referring to it as a tornado shelter! They couldn't pull out what they wanted without breaking more and more tile. So, at the end of the day, the entire old shower is gone; and we went to a overrun/surplus tile store to find enough tile to match. I am guessing that when they're done, we'll be happy; and it'll be even easier to roll Diane in.
Diane, on the other hand, had a rougher day yesterday. We just learned from Steve that he took her to emergency yesterday with a severe backache. I immediately thought kidneys. But, he said it was a blood clot in the bladder. That doesn't sound any better. She's home and resting today; and he said she feels pretty good. They still have not gotten replacement stands for her communicator computer screen and, because the computer screen has to read her retinas, the stand has to stay steady and aligned. So, that's on hold. Pretty frustrating.
Thank you for the donations received yesterday and today. We told Paula at the ALS Society of Michigan that we've been organizing in good faith. She's going to talk to her supervisor about making the van available as soon as possible. I'll keep you posted.
Hello Everybody ~ A couple of people told me they had trouble finding Diane's page, so we changed the log in. It is now: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Diane-Tranchell-ALS-Lou-Gehrig-Disease. This should make it appear in most searches. Please post this to your Facebook page, contact lists, however you communicate. Thanks, Colleen
Thank you, Stephanie, for sending through the pics of Steve and Diane's trip to visit you and Jeff in New York last summer. They are great pics!
Good morning, friends of Diane and Steve ~ Last night dropped six inches of absolutely beautiful snow on Michigan (I know there's a bad grammar term for suggesting that the night can drop snow...); and while I relished in the fluff while doing morning barn chores, I fear that Diane is wishing she were in Florida where we could at least roll her wheel chair around outside (and, yes, I know the bad grammar term: run-on sentence!). But, the Tranchells made the decision to come back to Michigan to be near family; and those of us who are selfish are glad they did. I will talk to Paula at the ALS Society today, to learn about getting the van before we've raised all of our funds. None of us want to wait until after the March 2 Dinner/Dance at the K of C in Owosso. But, speaking of that, it is truly beginning to turn into a party. We are catering two main dish pastas from Roma's Back Door, because they are well respected for their Italian cuisine (did I spell that right, Becky?). They have also given us 50 fundraising cards, wherein the recipient can use the card every time they eat at Roma's over the next six months; and owner John will donate 10% to Diane's fund. We'll pass the cards out at the dinner/dance. Restaurant Manager Nathan at Ponderosa came on-board big-time with an offer to donate enough salad greens, dressing, and garlic bread for 500 people. What a great guy! Bob Evans Restaurant has offered enough soup for 120 people; and the Owosso Memorial Foundation Office is going to ask employees there whether they might enjoy making baked goods. I did it again. Alas, an office can't ask for anything. Silent Auction items are beginning to be collected. Miranda has received well from her friends. Theresa Warden is making a number of her beautiful crocheted baby blankets and stuffed animals. And, homemaker that I am, will be donating two good used saddles - a western and an english! I wish all of you could be at my end of this effort. I get to hear from everybody. The only frustrating part is that I don't recognize most of the names of the contributors to this YouCaring fund. Miranda tells me who you are. I will keep you posted on how Diane is doing with her feeding tube and eyeball computer. Eric has given Diane her meds through the tube, which is great because, before, she would gargg garhigh garggh every time she tried to swallow the tinest pill. We would all hold OUR breath waiting while her eyes turned watery, asking "Are you okay? Are you okay?" And, then she would nod and say "mo waer!" because the pill did not go down. And, these pills are soooo tiny, one can hardly hold them; and we were breaking them in half! So, thank you docs for the feeding tube. And, to answer the question some of you may have: I believe they told her to continue eating whatever she wants to - which to this point has been yogurt, mashed bananas, chocolate Boost, and even some smashed (vegetarian, Jeff and Becky) bean soup that I made last week. If it were me, I'd be sucking on pepperoni pizza and then spitting it in a dish! (Sorry, J&B, I am a-l-m-o-s-t vegetarian.) Well, I need to go blog for my horse website so, wishing Diane a good day today. Best regard, Colleen
Thank you so much for the support received today. Honestly, when we build this site, we were expecting small donations - and surely knew we would appreciate every one of them. But, we are getting some responses that we never dreamed of, from many of you. Diane surely is cared for by a lot of people.
Geez! I don't know why I'm trying to be the administrator of this (wonderful!) site! I don't even know how to manage a Facebook page! It looks like our fund goal disappeared from our homepage; but it's in the set-up correctly, so ... I don't know. Anyway, while I try to figure the problem, the goal for the van is $15,000 and we are near 13%. At least I know how to do old school math...
Gary spent today with Eric and Diane, while Cinda and I hit the road to solicit help from Owosso businesses for the March 2 Fundraiser Dinner and Dance. If there is anyone reading this post who needs info on the fundraiser; please let us know.
Diane was, as usual, in excellent spirits today. But, the stand that holds that new computer communicator doesn't fit her chair, so she's on hold while another arrives. How frustrating to have it there and not be able to practice eye-typing. She has to repeat everything she wants to say three times before we can understand the entire sentence.
Also, the feeding tube surgery went well. The doctors in Ann Arbor had said we should not expect any problems with that procedure. Gotta go,
Thank you to the fifteen people who donated toward the van today. Tomorrow, I will be spending the day and evening in Owosso with Diane; and will not be able to get online. I just want to say thank you to anyone looking at this on Wednesday. There's this inability to look you in the eye with a more worthy thank you that leaves me at a loss. A sense of appreciation that can't be expressed enough.
Thank you so much for the attention received today. We never dreamed there would be such a fast response. I recognize some names that are related to Diane's daughter-in-law, Stephanie; so, thank you, multiple-Otto's for your support. I can tell from messages, that some others of you know the Tranchell's, either Steve and Diane, or through the kids. If some of you are strangers, thank you so much. I just cannot imagine, with Diane's days numbered, that she would be one to sit in her house. This is not the first ALS exposure for me. My husband's colleague's husband died last year. Like Diane, he was young, strong, and the last one we would expect to be stricken with such a malady. We were able to donate money through a fundraiser they held; and now I guess it's our turn. Through the women at the ALS Society of Michigan, we've learned how many cases there are in Michigan. So many more than we would have thought. If our fundraiser helps Diane and we can, in turn, use her equipement and van to help someone else, that would be good. Thank you again, Colleen Pace