Dinner planned

KEESEVILLE - Faced with a rare neurological disease that affects all three of their identical triplet sons, Melody and David LaFountain hope to raise money to help make their children's lives more bearable.

To help with this effort, a benefit spaghetti dinner with music and raffles will be held at the Keeseville Elks Lodge 2072, Saturday, Feb. 21, beginning at 2 p.m.

The LaFountains have a number of projects they hope to eventually complete, including devices that will aid in potty training the four-year-olds and building a covering over an outside pool, making it usable year-round. The money raised at the benefit will be used for projects such as these.

The boys - Anthony, Chandler and Luke-Richard - suffer from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, a disease that causes spasticity, or severe stiffening of their legs. It also affects other neurological functions, including fine motor skills, which has delayed the boy's development.

"The more spasticity ... the harder it is for them to bend their legs," she said. "At night, they get a lot of muscle spasms and they cry. It's got to be very painful."

Melody hopes that money raised through fund-raisers like Saturday's spaghetti dinner will improve the boy's standard of living and alleviate some of the pain they endure every day.

"I'm finding that as they grow, their needs have changed more and more," Melody explained. "It's becoming more expensive, a lot more expensive."

First and foremost, Melody would like her boys to be independent, so her immediate goal is to have the boys potty trained and have them begin self-feeding.

"Our number one thing is electronic devices for potty training," said Melody. "That's at the top of our list."

Other purchases the LaFountains hope to make include a new counter for the boys, so Melody can work on their fine motor skills, special chairs so the boys can be buckled in while she works with them, and a solar panel to increase the temperature of the family's outside pool.

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