Amherst fire­fight­ers re­minded of im­pact of fundrais­ing ef­forts

The Amherst News - - NEWS -

Amherst fire­fight­ers do more than tackle fire, they also tackle dis­ease.

“Fire­fight­ers are he­roes,” said Lynn Arse­nault, mother of 17-year-old Daniel Arse­nault, who lives with Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy. “You save lives ev­ery day from ruth­less flames and, at the same time, you also give of your time to save the lives of the in­no­cent, like Daniel, who bat­tles neu­ro­mus­cu­lar dis­or­ders ev­ery day.”

Lynn was the guest speaker at the Amherst Fire De­part­ment’s an­nual ban­quet re­cently held at the Amherst Fire Hall. Daniel and her hus­band Kenny Arse­nault joined her.

Be­fore Lynn took to the mi­cro­phone, the Amherst de­part­ment pre­sented a $12,200 cheque to Shel­ley McWil­liams, fire­fighter re­la­tion’s man­ager with Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy Canada, who re­minded the Amherst de­part­ment that they have raised over $553,000 for MDC since 1964.

The Arse­nault’s live in Lit­tle Har­bour, just out­side of New Glas­gow, and Lynn said speak­ing at the ban­quet would help bring aware­ness and in­sight into where the fire­fighter’s hard work and fundrais­ing ef­forts go.

“Daniel was di­ag­nosed with Duchenne Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy in Novem­ber of 2004. It was a day that changed our lives for­ever,” said Arse­nault.

She said the di­ag­no­sis was dev­as­tat­ing, and not long af­ter Kenny had a heart at­tack and Lynn was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer.

“I can say it would have been very easy for us to give up but we had a child who had the big­gest fight of his life ahead of him and he needed us now more than ever.”

Daniel was able to walk un­til about five years ago when he fell and broke his back and his hip and un­der­went surgery. He has been wheel­chair bound ever since.

“His wheel­chair is just one of the many as­sisted de­vices that Daniel re­quires on a daily ba­sis to make his life more ac­ces­si­ble for him,” said Arse­nault.

Among other needs, Daniel also re­quires a hos­pi­tal bed for com­fort, leg splints to stretch out his mus­cles at night, a cough as­sist de­vice to help him cough to pre­vent pneu­mo­nia due to his weak­ened chest mus­cles, and a ma­chine that as­sists with the ex­change of oxy­gen and car­bon diox­ide while he is sleep­ing.

“We are presently wait­ing for a ceil­ing lift which will save us from phys­i­cally hav­ing to lift Daniel our­selves,” said Arse­nault.

Be­sides med­i­cal equip­ment and de­vices, funds raised also go to­wards ed­u­ca­tion and re­search, and, maybe some day, a cure.

“Please keep up the great work and give Daniel a rea­son to con­tinue to smile,” said Arse­nault. “He may have weak­ness in strength, but he has strength in char­ac­ter. To­gether we can help make mus­cles move. Thank you.”

DAve mAthiesoN – Amherst News

Daniel Arse­nault was di­ag­nosed with Duchenne Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy in Novem­ber of 2004, and has had to use a wheel­chair for about five years now. His mom Lynn, seen here at the podium, was the guest speaker at the Amherst Fire De­part­ment’s an­nual ban­quet on Satur­day.

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