SOURCE: Calendar For A Cause

December 15, 2008 10:22 ET

Loopholes in Ailing Healthcare System Give Cause to Personal Fundraising Calendar

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 15, 2008) - Denied social security benefits because she did not have five years of Social Security earnings during the 10 years preceding her disability, Ellen O'Connell Sutherland has had to rely on community efforts and personal fundraising in her fight to live. ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, has left Ellen paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, where she cherishes each day with her young family.

Participation in a successful clinical trial for an experimental breathing device called a diaphragm pacemaker is due in part to the generosity of others.

"This is far more shocking than what politicians talk about. It's deeper than insurance coverage for those who don't have it; unless you experienced it, you can't even begin to imagine how bad it is," explains John Sutherland, Ellen's husband of 17 years. "And, if 5 Million of the bailout money had made it to organizations searching for a cure, we might have a cure."

Mair Hill, a childhood friend, understood how her donation was not enough and began an effort to find 365 people to each sponsor one day. "Donations can take the financial stress out of the mix so Ellen and family can concentrate on the powers of healing," said Mair.

Ellen is completely dependent on others, with day-to-day care costing $500 per day or $182,500 per year.

Ellen's fundraising calendar at allows donors to sponsor a day that is special to them. One anonymous donor chose January 20th in hopes that as Senator Barack Obama transitions from the Senate to President, he can "bring hope to our country and to the world."

Every dollar that is donated is a family celebration.

How You Can Help

Donate on-line by sponsoring a day or partial day for Ellen's care at Or, mail donations to The Ellen Sutherland Fund, Bank of America, 22 Union Avenue, Sudbury, MA 01776.

The Sutherlands also encourage you to support ALS Therapy Development Institute, a non-profit biotechnology company dedicated to accelerating treatments for patients with ALS. To donate to their efforts, visit

For Ellen's full story, visit

About Calendar For A Cause

Calendar for A Cause is an electronic calendar hosting platform. 100% of donations go directly to the cause. Be part of a solution by being one of those 365: One Person. One Day. One Donation.

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