Fundraisers aid Midlands teen's treatment for rare nerve disorde - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Fundraisers aid Midlands teen's treatment for rare nerve disorder

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Ashley Delaney received $50,000 worth of treatment for a rare nerve disorder thanks to local fundraiser. Ashley Delaney received $50,000 worth of treatment for a rare nerve disorder thanks to local fundraiser.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

When money stood in the way of a high school student's attempts to get better, the community made sure she had what she needed.

The young woman, Ashley Delaney, is struggling with a rare nerve disorder and underwent treatment in Boston.

When we first Delaney in May, she was struggling to salute her Junior ROTC instructor at Irmo High.

"My arm started to get colder," said Delaney. "It was harder to use, there was more pain, and it kind of just started from the fingertips and completely spread up into my shoulder and my neck."

Delaney has reflex sympathetic dystrophy. It caused her to lose the use of her right arm, and it kept her out of school for 114 days last year. So when a program out of Boston with an 85 percent success rate -- but a $50,000 price tag -- promised relief, her family went looking for the money to get her there.

"I'm able to do things I wasn't able to do before," said Delaney. "I am definitely a lot stronger. It's just really nice to have my arm back."

Delaney's JROTC community and a network of local Rotary Clubs put on ten fundraisers. They raised $32,000 at first, and then an additional $18,000 while she was in Boston undergoing her treatment.

According to Delaney's ROTC instructor, Col. Jay Seward, the teen's progress has been a miracle.

"My distinct memory is her sitting down by the track on the concrete wall kind of curled up in ball not able to do something. That was late spring, and now she can do anything that any other student can do," said Seward.

Delaney says her spirit is full once again, and says she knows this outcome wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of others.

"If I can get through that, almost losing my complete control of my arm, then I can push through anything else," said Delaney.

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