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FUNdraiser in Support of Brandy Siegel

Video by: Ryan Eisenhuth 

Article by: Autumn Graham


            In January, long-time Perry resident and teacher Brandy Siegel was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Since the diagnosis, the Perry community has rallied together in support of their close friend and fantastic teacher. A benefit is being organized in support of Ms. Siegel and is scheduled for Friday, February 2nd from 4-9 at the Perry Community Center. This FUNdraiser will include a Chinese auction, DJ, face painting, balloon animals, heads up games and more. Those who wish to attend are asked to bring their own beverage and a side or dessert to share.

      Ms. Siegel is not the first of her family to be affected by the disease known as ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or as it is more commonly known ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative muscle disease that affects about 6,000 people in the United States every year. There is no known cure for ALS and only one clinically approved drug available to help slow the progression of ALS, but none available to stop or reverse it. Those diagnosed with ALS experience a variety of motor issues including impaired speech, impaired movement of arms or legs, dropping things, excessive fatigue, and muscle cramps and twitches. Not all of these symptoms are experienced by everyone with ALS, the only universal symptoms are progressive muscle weakness and paralysis. ALS only affects motor-neurons, so those diagnosed do not have their sight, speech, vision, taste, sense of touch, or hearing impaired. This is a rapidly progressing disease, which makes it difficult to research. Research on the disease has progressed greatly due to the talent of many scientists and an increase in funding from the popular “Ice Bucket Challenge”. Doctors who work with ALS patients do the best they can to slow the progression of the disease and make their patients comfortable.

      Outside of kicking all kinds of butt and teaching at Perry Middle School, Brandy Siegel has volunteered at Camp Sue Osborn (a Summer camp for individuals with special needs) for the past fifteen plus years. Her sister, Kelly Holderman (also a teacher at Perry Schools), says that Ms. Siegel, “has always put others needs before her own. She is a super woman!” Since her diagnosis with ALS, Ms. Siegel has had to stop working with the Perry Local School District and has started focusing more on herself and her family. Any questions for Ms. Siegel or her family can be sent to the Facebook page set up to support her February 2nd FUNdraiser. Ms. Siegel would like to say that she appreciates all the love and support from the Perry community and that it has been amazing to see.