White Oak student is youngest patient treated at Duke for ALS

Posted on: November 10, 2010
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Photo by John Althouse/The Daily News

When a local teen learned that she would miss out of one her school’s biggest events, friends and family teamed up to bring that special night to her. White Oak High School freshman Sabrina Parker was shocked to walk into a family member’s nearby barn and see that it had been transformed into a homecoming dance with about 40 of her friends and relatives in attendance.

The dance was held two hours before her school’s homecoming dance on Oct. 16, with this year’s theme of “Haunted Homecoming.” The walls were adorned with spooky cobwebs, skeletons and balloons and a music system was set up so they could dance to their favorite songs. Sabrina’s boyfriend, Matthew Scozzari, 15, escorted her into the dance and guests crowned them as their own homecoming king and queen. A night that she thought she would never see became the night that she will never forget.

“Whenever she told me she wasn’t going back to school, I knew that she wasn’t going to be able to go to homecoming so I thought we should bring it here,” Matthew said. “I just wanted to spend more time with her more than anything.”

Last year, Sabrina, 16, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, which is often called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” According to the ALS Association website, the progressive neurodegenerative disease affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and includes early symptoms such as increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing.

The rest of the article can be found here.

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