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Fundraiser Seeks To Help Ridgewood Mom Battling Multiple Sclerosis

Lesley Ellis Linker has been battling MS for more than a decade and could be forced from her Ridgewood home.
Lesley Ellis Linker has been battling MS for more than a decade and could be forced from her Ridgewood home. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — More than $55,900 had been raised as of Saturday evening for a single Ridgewood mother of two youngsters who is battling multiple sclerosis.

The Lesley Ellis Linker GoFundMe account was created by Anne Burton Walsh to help cover her staggering medical costs. Funds will also go toward purchasing a replacement for the pre-owned handicapped-accessible van that’s breaking down and can’t be repaired.

Linker was diagnosed with MS at age 33 when she had almost no symptoms. The progression of the disease has left her “a prisoner in her own body,” the GoFundMe page says.

She is confined to a wheelchair and can no longer see well enough to read books to her 6-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son.

“Lesley’s around-the-clock home health aide alone costs over $5,000 per month, which is not covered by insurance, any governmental agency or other organization,” the account says. “Lesley, her soon-to-be ex-husband, her retired schoolteacher parents, and her brother are struggling to cover these costs.

“The financial and emotional strain on them is severe and cannot be sustained.”

Linker’s children have “witnessed their mother lose the ability to walk and as they’ve had to come to terms with their parents’ separation and impending divorce,” the site says.

The family could soon be forced to leave their home in Ridgewood since an “exhausting and often very upsetting 16-month search for an even more modest wheelchair accessible apartment or other accommodation in Ridgewood has yielded nothing thus far,” the site says.

Walsh hopes the account will help make things easier for Linker and her family.

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