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Women of L.O.V.E. Support One of Their Own in RA Battle

Leader Photo by Patty Hendricks  Pictured, from left: Sharon Brazeal, Laura Dapkus, Felicia Flagg, Marla Butler, Linda Sullivan, Cage Turco, Sue Riley, Patty Hendricks, Nicola Riley and Sue-Lynn Voigt
Leader Photo by Patty Hendricks Pictured, from left: Sharon Brazeal, Laura Dapkus, Felicia Flagg, Marla Butler, Linda Sullivan, Cage Turco, Sue Riley, Patty Hendricks, Nicola Riley and Sue-Lynn Voigt

When Van Alstyne High School alum Nicola Riley was diagnosed last year with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) at the age of 18, friends of her mother Sue rallied to support her and raise money for a cure.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints and internal organs. There is no cure. In women, RA usually begins between ages 30 and 60.

“This is a horrible disease and many people don’t realize that it can affect young people,” explained Sue.

Women from the Ladies of Van Alstyne Exchange (L.O.V.E.) put out the call for donations on Facebook, and on May 3, along with Nicola and her boyfriend, Cage Turco, the team joined thousands of others at the Ballpark in Arlington for the Arthritis Foundation’s 2014 Walk to Cure Arthritis.

The eight Van Alstyne area women sported “L.O.V.E. for Nicola” t-shirts and together raised more than $1,200 for the Arthritis Foundation.

“We are so thankful for the support of the ladies of L.O.V.E.,” said Sue. “It meant a lot to us that they would give up their Saturday to walk in Nicola’s honor. This is one way that we can raise awareness, and hopefully one day there will be a cure.”

Donations are still being accepted for the Arthritis Foundation under team “L.O.V.E. for Nicola.” Donations may be made online at: http://bit.ly/1q7BQ6b

Ladies of Van Alstyne Exchange (L.O.V.E.) meets for coffee every Tuesday morning at the Durning House at 8:30 a.m. There are no dues or agendas and everyone is welcome to drop in.