N.S. family launches campaign to purchase technology used by Stephen Hawking
Published Tuesday, February 9, 2016 7:53PM AST
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.
“It's something that you don't wish upon anyone by any means,” said Adrienne’s brother, Matt DeYoung. “Every day you kind of say, 'Why her? Why us?'”
The family says things have only gotten worse in the last year.
"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.
Stephen Hawking’s flat, mechanical voice has become almost as well-known as his theories on the universe, but it's also allowed him to communicate his thoughts long after most of his body stopped working.
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 the GoFundMe campaign so far. They’ve raised about $4,000, but are still $6,000 away from their goal.
They are convinced the technology would work wonders in helping Adrienne communicate with them and others as she continues her battle.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.