NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH – “My foot was dragging,” says Chris Chromiak.

This was just last spring when the North Haven language arts teacher was busy producing a middle school play.

Then, out of the blue, a devastating diagnosis.

“The neurologist said, ‘It’s ALS,'” she remembers. “I said, ‘That’s a death sentence,’ and he said, ‘Yes, it is.'”

Life changed immediately. Chromiak and her husband, also a teacher, left work, sold their house, which was not wheelchair friendly, and moved to Pennsylvania to live with her elderly parents.

“My husband and I miss it very much,” says Chromiak through tears.

“It’s tough from a distance. We didn’t plan on giving it up that quickly,” says her husband, Jeff Rhone.

And now, Chromiak’s former students are showing her how much they care and how much the couple is missed.

Recently, teens at North Haven High School wore blue to show support. Senior Alex Ranciato sold stickers for $1 apiece to help Chromiak offset the enormous costs caused by the disease.

“We’ve had kids come up, give us money, and just say, here, take the money because we really miss her and want her to be in the best place she can possibly be,” says Ranciato.

“We have a community here, and it’s led by students in support of someone dear to them and dear to us,” says Russell Dallai, the high school principal.

“They’re amazing, amazing people,” says Chromiak with emotion.

Even though there are tears, the 56-year-old says she’s positive, making connections with other ALS patients, participating in walks, and raising awareness with a flag on the National Mall.

“I’ve found joy in knowing that people care about me,” she says.

People and pets. Dog, Polly won’t leave Chromiak’s lap…during our interview and always.

“Animals intrinsically understand what’s going on,” says Chromiak.

She says it’s a bizarre reality to know you’ll die, but she’s trying instead to focus on every kind gesture, every lovely moment.

“I have to live day to day because tomorrow could be different,” says Chromiak. “This disease deserves attention and support.”

The students also wrote Chromiak personal notes, which will be sent, along with the funds raised, in the mail very soon.

Visit the GoFundMe page to support the teacher who is so grateful.