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Forum staff reports , Published April 04 2013

Fundraiser set for Fargo teacher with ALS

FARGO – A fundraiser to benefit Fargo School District teachers John and Amy Johanson will be held April 14 at Davies High School.

The event, open to all, includes a potato bar and silent auction, will run 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Davies student council also plans to hold a badminton tournament, and local high school music groups and a DJ will provide entertainment, event coordinator Sherry Warner-Seefeld said.

Amy Johanson has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and has not worked since then. Many hospitalizations and the cost of equipment required for her to live comfortably are a financial burden to the family. An addition had to be built on their home as well to make it wheelchair-accessible.

Dakota Medical Foundation will provide up to $5,000 in matching funds.

Cash or checks payable to the Amy Johanson Benefit are also accepted at Bell State Bank &Trust, 3100 13th Ave. S., PO Box 10877, Fargo, ND 58103.

Amyotrophic lateral schlerosis is a disease of the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. In ALS, nerve cells waste away or die, and can no longer send messages to muscles. This results in a progressive weakness and wasting away of muscles, often leading to total paralysis. When the breathing muscles are affected, it becomes difficult or impossible to breathe.