Amanda and Chris Bernier are literally in a race against time.
Weeks after the Madison couple received the joyous news that Amanda was pregnant, their world was turned upside down by the news Amanda has the life-threatening Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Now the couple, who has been active in the Madison community, desperately needs your help.
They need funds to pay for medical bills so they can help keep Amanda, 30, alive so she can safely deliver their baby girl, who they’ve named “Peanut.”
Amanda’s condition, which is exacerbated by her pregnancy, has already gotten to the point where she can’t walk and has lost 50 percent of her respiratory capacity.
Friends of the Berniers, who are volunteer firefighters, are raising money for the family.
Space. Amanda and Chris live in a 780‐square-foot home. They need space for a bedroom apart from the main living area. Amanda will need a hospital bed, a Hoyer Lift, a commode and additional medical equipment, said Mary Elliot, a member of the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company. Presently, she cannot fit her wheelchair through the bedroom or kitchen doors. The tiny kitchen will also require modifications providing space for more than one person to prepare meals and for wheelchair accessibility, Elliot said.
A wheelchair van. Otherwise Amanda will be homebound.
Funds for future medical bills. The bills will be astronomical. Amanda is still working as a scientist in a biotech company despite being unable to walk and breathe easily. Chris is the chief of Madison Emergency Medical Services and serves as a deputy chief with the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company. As hard as they’re working, they can’t make nearly enough to pay for the expenses ahead, Elliot said.
Thus far about $28,000 has been raised but $250,000 is the goal.
“Both Amanda and Chris are known for helping neighbors on their worst days. They do it for no reason other than because helping others feels right. It’s in their blood,” Elliot states.
“They come from long lines of firefighting and first‐responding grandfathers, father, brother and uncles. Saving others is what they do, what they’ve always done and what they know.
"Amanda and Chris have consistently been the ones who appear; they’re the ones who have shown up gentle and skilled and caring in our dark nights to help us when we’ve called for help. And now they need us through the days and nights ahead,” Elliot states.
If you prefer sending a check please make it payable to Christopher Bernier c/o Barb Minges, 50 Bradley Corners Road, Madison, CT 06443.