Flora Fasolya, diagnosed in October 2013 at age 37.

In a little over a year since my diagnosis, I’ve gone from enjoying walks with my boyfriend and climbing on countertops as we moved into our new apartment, to not being able to hold my boyfriend’s hand and struggling to stand, let alone walk, at all. My right arm has no function and my left leg is near immobile, as well. I fall without warning. I’m also beginning to have trouble speaking and breathing.

When I was first diagnosed, I vowed to remain optimistic and am trying my best to stay so. But as anyone stricken with ALS will tell you, it’s very difficult. The financial burdens are another issue entirely. I needed to leave a job that I loved due to this disease and can no longer be employed. I was also initially denied long-term disability benefits and medical coverage.

Fortunately for me, I have been lucky enough to have been put in touch with great organizations, such as ALS TDI and MAC Angels Foundation, along with wonderful people who also have ALS. I’m not sure what I’d do if I didn’t have such people in my life.

If it wasn’t for the generous support of others who have made donations to the fundraising campaign set up by my dearest friends, I wouldn’t be able to afford the physical therapy sessions, fees to visit specialists, and equipment that’s becoming increasingly necessary. All of this gives me hope and the strength to keep fighting and enjoying life.

If you’d also like to help, I’d appreciate it more than I can say. You can visit the fundraising site at: youcaring.com/forflora