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Rachel Rodino succumbs to Huntington's

Rachel Rodino, the 7 year old girl whose story rallied the community, has succumbed to Huntington's disease on Wednesday, April 7.

They [the Rodino's] are doing well, Lori has done amazing job preparing the two older children and Rick, said Jen Cornell, a family friend and one of the people leading the efforts to help the family.

"They feel somewhat blessed that Rachel's passing was peaceful, as peaceful as it could be," she Cornell, adding "they are very appreciative of the time they did have with Rachel.

Last year the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce chose the Rodino family for their adopt-a-family program. Rachel's and her father, Rick Rodino both have been diagnosed with Huntington's disease, a rare, degenerative, and incurable neurological disorder.

Caring for Rachel and Rick Rodino has left the matriarch of the family, Lori Rodino unable to work, and forced to live off of disability income and donations from the community.

The story of the Rodino has led to a tremendous outpouring from the community since the end of last year. In December, the Fredendell Funeral Home offered to cover the costs of Rachel's funeral, the Guilderland Food pantry donated food, Senator Neil Breslin D-Delmar worked to stall foreclosure on the Rodino's home, hashing out a deal with lenders to make the mortgage more affordable, and the Western Ave. McDonalds sponsored a benefit for the family.

"The community has always been supportive of Lori, and the family," said Cornell.

Kathy Burbank, executive director of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, said that the chamber has received donations from the family from beyond the local community, including donations from Massachusetts, South Carolina, and California.

Rachel's wake will be held at Christ the King Church on Friday, April 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. Her funeral will be held the following day at the Prospect Hill cemetery.

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