It may be wintry weather outside, but things are looking brighter for Joshua and Ryan Hall of Valley Springs, thanks to the caring and generosity of many people from Calaveras County to the Bay Area and all the way to Pennsylvania.

The Hall brothers suffer from Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal disease that affects male children. Julie Hall, the twins’ mother, has singularly cared for the boys at their Valley Springs home since their father left when they were 9-years-old.

Since their story was published in the Enterprise Nov. 27, more than $3,000 has been donated to the 22-year-old twins to help realize their dream of traveling. Their aunt, Nadine Benz, who lives in Martinez, and spearheaded a drive to raise money for a trip for Joshua and Ryan, was overcome with gratitude for the generosity of so many.

Julie Hall expressed her tremendous gratitude as well, but no one could match the excitement of Ryan and Johsua Hall when they heard that so many people had opened their hearts and wallets so that these two young men can look forward to a trip that will get them out of their house and allow them to enjoy the beauty and excitement of a vacation trip sometime soon.

Joshua and Ryan have been in wheelchairs since the age of 9 and their mother Julie has cared for them on her own since the boys’ father left the family at about the time they lost the ability to walk. Last year the brothers underwent surgery for tracheotomies and now breathe with the aid of respirators, so Julie is now assisted by visiting nurses who come daily to help her with her sons. It is because Julie’s time is so monopolized with the care of Josh and Ryan, and the brothers have been unable to easily get out of the house because of the cumbersome wheelchairs and respirators, that Julie’s sister Nadine got the idea to publicize their situation.

“I haven’t seen Josh and Ryan so happy in a long time,” says Nadine, about their reaction to hearing about the growth of the “Twins Escape Fund” that people have been donating to for the past two weeks.

“They were so excited, they started talking right away about where they want to go.” While a trip to the Grand Canyon has been on their wish list for a long time, the winter season combined with the remoteness of the area might prohibit a trip there, but they are dreaming about many other possibilities.

Donations are still being accepted in person at Wells Fargo Bank, account 1505399244 with checks made payable to the Twins Escape Fund, or to Paypal and also to Give Forward, at Checks, cards and notes can also be sent to the Hall Family at PO Box 477, Valley Springs, CA 95252. They would love to get personal messages from those who are concerned about their plight.

Linda Field is an Enterprise community correspondent. Contact Linda at Send news tips to