The Westerville City School community is rallying around a board of education member who is fighting a debilitating disease.
Cindy Crowe is a wife, mother and former teacher, who is now in her 14th year on the Westerville City Schools Board of Education.
But she is also a woman fighting ALS - also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease.
“We decided in May that things had started moving along and that we wanted to do something to help raise funds for research because Cindy wanted to start doing research,” says friend Marlis Byrns.
Byrns says Crowe was just diagnosed with ALS one year ago and the progression of the illness has moved fast.
She says several friends, as well as parents and staff in the district, held a summer fundraiser at Westerville Central High School.
They say that event raised roughly $30,000 and was the start of "The Crowe Wentzel Winning the Fight Foundation," dedicated to raising funds towards ALS research.
Byrns says what began as an effort to work to find a cure for the disease, now includes an effort to help with Crowe’s medical expenses.
"She is so strong and so wonderful. She always puts everyone else first and that is why it is time for us to put her first and we need to help her and her family,” said Byrns
It's an effort, Crowe shared with us with the help of her speech device, that she appreciates.
"I am grateful to my friends for their hard work and dedication to me and my family in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease," said Cindy Crowe.
But Crowe says she wants them to continue to fight for a cure.
"ALS has affected so many families in our community. We desperately need to find a cure. We will find a cure,” said Crowe.
Crowe is still active on the school board and, Byrns says, was instrumental in Monday night's meeting.
Byrne says that is why the community has rallied around her to give her what she needs.
"Even through this battle that she is going through, she still wants to be there to persevere and make a difference in our community."
For more information on the foundation and information of the “Cindy de Mayo” event please visit: http://www.fightalswithcindy.org/