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Canadian MS Patient's Family Launches Campaign to Purchase Technology Used by Stephen Hawking

February 11, 2016

A Halifax family is hoping technology inspired by Stephen Hawking can help reconnect them with a loved one. Adrienne DeYoung, 37, has advanced multiple sclerosis and has lost the ability to speak clearly. She received the bad news from doctors four years ago.

"Adrienne tries very hard, but sometimes we just can't understand the words," said Adrienne’s mother, Anne Marie Carr.

Adrienne isn't alone in her struggle. Canada has some of the highest rates of MS in the world, and Nova Scotia’s rates are still higher. Frustrated by the lack of communication, the family is now pinning its hopes on technology to be able to talk to her. Their family has turned to crowdfunding to purchase a machine used by the world’s most famous physicist.

“Individuals like Adrienne often still understand, and they still know what to say, but they don't have the muscles or the strength of the co-ordination to say it," said physical medicine specialist Dr. Christine Short.

Adrienne has test-driven similar technology and was pleased with the results. The family is now trying to raise enough money to buy her one.  The family says they’re pleased with the GoFundMe campaign so far.