Roxanne Russell Roundtree blinks out the words for her cookbook, which took her two years to complete.
Roxanne Russell Roundtree before being diagnosed with ALS.
A woman confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak has written a cookbook by blinking.
Roxanne Russell Roundtree was diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2008 at the age of 30.
She was forced to give up her job as a nurse because she is unable to move from the neck down. Her husband Don was also forced to quit his job so he could be a stay-at-home care-giver to Roxanne and look after their three boys Don Jr (16), Brad (13) and Bryce (11).
Over the past two years Mrs Roundtree has used a computer that reads her eye movements to write a cookbook. Originally intended for her mother and sisters, the family then decided to sell copies to raise money for middle-child Brad to compete in the Junior High State Rodeo Finals in Texas.
"She likes watching me rodeo because she used to be able to rodeo and now she can't. Now, I try my best because it might be her last year to be here," Brad said.
That was when syndicated Fox News broadcaster Don Imus heard about her achievement and Mrs Roundtree became national news in the US.
The money raised from the sale of the cookbook will go towards covering living and medical expenses, as well as paying for their handicap accessible home, which was built via the generosity of Mrs Roundtree's parents, who have since also fallen on hard economic times.
Her mother, Delaine Russell, choked back tears as she explained how reading the words helped her feel like her daughter was talking to her again.
"There were some things that she wanted to accomplish for her boys who are the love of her life. One of her loves was cooking. Well she decided to start typing up recipes for a cookbook," she said. "Some of the wording reminds me of Roxanne. When I read the recipes I feel that she is talking to me because we can no longer hear her voice."
Roxanne says it is thanks to her family that she is able to fight the disease.
"I want to thank my husband and sons for looking after me. They are my inspiration and the reason that I am here," she said through her computer.
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