MORRISONVILLE - When friends heard the news of Wendy Faubert being airlifted to an Albany hospital in March, they immediately began working to do what they could to help.
Two years ago, the West Chazy woman was diagnosed with scleroderma "a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases," according to the Scleroderma Foundation. She was also diagnosed with lupus, which the Lupus Foundation of America describes as "a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys."
In March, Faubert's coworkers at Multina USA in Plattsburgh learned she was being transferred from CVPH Medical Center to another hospital.
"The lupus went internal which caused her to have seizures," explained Gail Martino, Faubert's friend and coworker. "At that point, the doctors in Plattsburgh couldn't do anything for her, so they airlifted her to Albany."
Immediately after hearing the news, Martino, along with coworkers Ann LeClaire and Karen LaRock, decided to have a raffle at work to raise money for her expenses.
"We did a 50-50 one day and we raised ... $700," said LaRock.
"Which was able to help her husband, Art, pay for his travels for a couple of weeks ... food and lodging for him and his daughter," added Martino.
From that point, Martino said everything "snowballed," leading to a benefit being held April 26 at Cocktails, from which all the proceeds were donated to Faubert.
Money was also raised through a live and silent auction and raffles of gift certificates and gift baskets donated by local businesses.
"It was pretty much just a phone call and a lot of the businesses were right there for us," said Martino.
The benefit also had live music from local bands Tap Dat, Shameless Strangers, Heartland Express, Denim, and Just Us, who all donated their time.