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Helping Amy O’Neil

Posted Oct 04 2009 11:12pm


The other day during my lunch break I was having a pity party.  I knew I needed to do something to shift my negative energy, so I got in my car and I took a drive to my favorite artsy, eclectic store in the Hamden Plaza.  As I strolled around the store, I came across a cookbook with a small sign that said, “Proceeds go to the Amy O’Neil Fund.”  I looked a bit more closely at the sign, and I realized she had a disease I had never heard of before: Epidermolysis Bullosa.  EB is a rare autoimmune disease where mild rubbing of the skin (both external and internal) causes blistering and infections.  It is a disease that can require constant medical attention, depending on the severity of the case.
After I left the store that afternoon, I kept thinking about Amy and her condition.  I felt ashamed for feeling sorry for myself because I know I have a relatively easy life.  My digestive issues and food intolerances are nothing in comparison to what Amy lives with everyday.  I also felt a bit helpless because I knew that purchasing a $15.00 cookbook wouldn’t change her life drastically, even if did help pay for some of her medical expenses.
On the way home from work that day, I stopped off at the Whitneyville Food Center to buy some groceries.  As I stood in the butcher shop waiting for my meat to be packed, I saw the cookbook again.  It was standing there on top of the display case with the same sign and picture of Amy.
It’s a day later and I am still thinking about why I saw that book two times in one day, especially on a day when I wasn’t in the best of moods.  Tonight I decided to do some searching online for Amy and I discovered that we live in the same town.  She has a website and a place where you can buy the cookbook and make a donation to help her with medical expenses.  There is also a video you can watch to learn more about Amy and her condition in her own words.
I encourage you to visit this website to learn more about Amy and her condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa.    There are a number of ways you can help Amy too.  You can buy a cookbook, make a donation, or attend a fundraiser in late October here in Connecticut.  You can even enter a contest to design the CD cover for a CD that is being produced for the Amy O’Neil Fund.

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