Friday, April 24, 2015

The Family of Optical Leader Dennis Antonucci Asks for Your Help

"Two years ago Dennis Antonucci, my brother, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is more popularly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Since that time, he has experienced progressive muscular degeneration through his arms and neck.  This degeneration has made even the smallest of tasks difficult to do without assistance from others. Dennis is very fortunate to have help from his family and friends but today this help is not enough." That's the start of the opening site for Glastonbury resident Dennis Antonucci. As a laboratory business consultant for Essilor, a licensed optician, and graduate of Middlesex Community College, Dennis earned the respect of opticians throughout the region. He donated his time. Now he and his family need our help, as his brother notes.

"During December 2014, Dennis was selected to participate in a stem cell therapy study. Stem cell therapy is a treatment which involves the injection healthy neural cells directly into a patient’s spine in order to assist the immune system in its fight against a disease. As a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the hospital staff administering the treatment does not know if the patient is getting healthy cells or a placebo. Consequently, Dennis does not know if he received healthy stem cells or a placebo. Assuming Dennis received healthy cells, it will be many months before it is known whether the treatment was successful.

"Since his participation in the study, Dennis has continued to experience muscular degeneration as evidenced by worsening speech and more difficulty in swallowing food. In fact, his inability to eat has gotten so bad that Dennis had to be fitted with a feeding tube in order to stop his weight loss. Needless to say, the ongoing degeneration is a constant struggle for Dennis and his family and friends.

"While everyone is pitching in to help Dennis, his poor health has reached a point where he needs specialized equipment and trained individuals dedicated to his care. This equipment and care requires financial contributions beyond those covered by insurance and available from Dennis’ circle of family and friends. We are asking for donations to help Dennis. These donations can be in the form of cash, check, and credit card or by clicking donate now. As the administrator of this site and co-administrator of donations, I promise that every donated dollar will be used only for devises and home care to assist Dennis in sustaining his health." So far, the YouCaring site has received more than $8,000 in donations. The family is looking for $50,000. Please donate today so the family can reach its goal and continue its support of Dennis, who gave often to the optical community. Donate now.

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