News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters resident with ALS raising funds

Family and friends of Sisters resident Kristy Cosden are raising money for the nonprofit Help Hope Live to fund uninsured medical expenses associated with Kristy’s ALS.

Kristy received a Power 3 wheelchair May 22, which she was able to drive downtown Sisters and back home, providing a new freedom and level of comfort as she now has to spend most of her day in a wheelchair.

But now Kristy is in need of a vehicle that she can drive the wheelchair into and lock into place without requiring her to transfer to another seat — and so that she can have the heavy wheelchair with her when leaving their apartment. The vehicle that the Cosdens currently have a lead on — a 2005 Honda Element with a side ramp conversion — is lower cost than most options at $11,000, and would allow her to sit in the front passenger area rather than toward the middle or back. Even with the modest price tag, medical expenses are accumulating, and caregiving needs that limit her husband Darrell’s availability for work (he is a beloved substitute teacher at Sisters middle and high schools), put the family in a position to reach out to the community for financial assistance to make the purchase.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS, is a nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. ALS causes loss of muscle control. The disease gets worse over time. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease after the baseball player who was diagnosed with it.

ALS often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in an arm or leg, trouble swallowing or slurred speech. Eventually ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat, and breathe. There is no cure for this fatal disease.

Kristy’s husband wrote a song earlier this year titled “While We Can” as a way to process the life-changing, catastrophic illness. His hope is that the song can help others to understand a little better how ALS crashes in upon people. You can listen to it here:

You can contribute online and read updates at or make a donation by check, payable to “Help Hope Live” with note in the memo “In honor of Kristina Gwen Cosden,” mailed to Help Hope Live, 2 Radnor Corporate Center, Suite 100, 100 Matsonford Rd., Radnor, PA 19087.


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