Fundraiser for friend with rare disease

By Hannah McDonald

February 23, 2014 Updated Feb 24, 2014 at 4:16 PM EST

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Friends and family of an Apalachin woman struggling with a debilitating disease held a fundraiser in her honor Sunday in Owego

Margaret Russell is usually helping others, but is now unable to work after having surgery to repair several broken bones in her hand. It's part of Kienbock's disease, a rare medical condition.

The benefit was at Original Italian Pizza and Restaurant in Owego and was put on to help Russell, who many affectionately call "Ma," get back to helping others.

"It's going to take eight months for the first surgery to heal before the second surgery can even be scheduled," said Eileen Woloch, the benefit's organizer. "We're just trying to raise money to get through that time where she's basically going to have no income at all."

The fundraiser had a spaghetti dinner, balloon animals and a basket raffle.

Friends say Russell is a generous person who likes to spend her time volunteering.

For those interested in donating funds, money can be sent to M&T Bank with attention to the Margret Russell Benefit.

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