Today, when you go out to get the newspaper or run errands or go to work or do chores or just take a walk, pause and realize how – for most of us – it is an effortless task. We just do it, without thinking how important each step is to take. For a few of our neighbors, it is nearly impossible. Some need a cane or a wheelchair and still others resort to looking outside their window.
For Jessica Serna, the simple act of walking has become a monumental effort. Just imagine running the New York marathon every day.
Jessica is living with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS). After being diagnosed with it four years ago, the wife and mother of two has suffered from double vision, loss of vision in her right eye, severe headaches, instability, and body pains so severe that her legs cannot support her walking.
Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating disease of the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Statistics show that 2.5 million people suffer from MS, about 0.03% of the world’s population. About 10 percent of people who have multiple sclerosis have the PPMS form of the disease, according to the National MS Society. Beyond the technical terms and medical language, the bottom line is that Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis becomes a significant aspect of someone’s life – but Jessica is still a wife, mother, friend, and neighbor.
There is no cure for PPMS but there are things we, as neighbors, can do to help makes things even just a little better.
Currently, she can only walk for about five minutes before standing becomes unbearable. The family has had a wheelchair for three years but Jessica cannot use it on a daily basis because the family has not been able to afford the cost to convert their deck to accommodate a wheelchair ramp.
To that end, the Knights Of Columbus Monsignor Joseph F Loreti Council #3240 will be hosting a pasta dinner to help Jessica and her family raise funds to build that ramp.
The pasta dinner will include pasta, meatballs, bread, dessert, and beverages. The $10 per person meal will go to the Serna family for Jessica’s wheelchair ramp.
The fundraiser will take place on Saturday, November 12th, from 4 p.m. till 8 p.m. at Church Of The Assumption’s Loretta Hall at 113 Chiego Place. Residents and neighbors will be able to come together and help make Jessica’s – along with her family’s – life just a little better.