Debbie Dauer, center, sits with children Gillian (left), Sarah and Ean, and husband Adam at Thanksgiving. Dauer is battling ALS.

Nearly 300 people attended “Live to Love,” a fundraiser for Lawrence resident Debbie Dauer, a teacher who was recently diagnosed with ALS, at the Mercer Oaks Golf Club Feb. 18. Dauer read a note of thanks at the event.

I was diagnosed with ALS on September 29th, 2016. That was only 143 days ago (But who’s counting). In the past 143 days this village—which is comprised of Lawrenceville, Robbinsville, Roosevelt, Ewing, Sharon School, family, friends that are family, old friends, new friends, acquaintances turned into friends, Facebook friends turned into real life friends, blog readers—every single one of you have made us feel loved and cared for.

Through texts, phone calls, visits, Wonder Woman paraphernalia, Facebook posts, cards, letters, gifts, sewing projects, house cleaning, home care, meals, cupcakes, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, wine, wine, wine, breakfasts, a bracelet campaign, get-aways, swim caps, sick days, monetary contributions, today’s event—all of this done in only 143 days. Adam, Sarah, Gillian, Ean and I are beyond thankful for what you have done. It is the underlying support. It is the smiles of good friends. It is the come when I call. It is my kids seeing their friends wearing Live to Love bracelets. It is the hugs. It is the knowledge that we have surrounded ourselves with people who take care of people. And that we know that this love and comfort and caring that we feel today and have felt for the past 143 days—but really forever—will continue on.

The kindness that you have shown our family will not only stay within us for the rest of our lives, it will trickle through us. It will trickle through the community and the children you teach. It will trickle through your children and the children that come after them. The consequences of such kindness will be remembered and revered and copied and mimicked because it is that great and that important. Thank you from the depths of our hearts and souls.