Natalie Woody was only four and a half years old when her father Lamar was diagnosed with ALS in 2018. Full of personality and spirit, Natalie’s parents agree that she’s no different than any other child her age, she just happens to have a dad who has ALS.
The ALS journey is difficult, so whether it is family, or friends or community volunteers, finding people who are willing to help, and accepting the help they are able to give, can make all the difference. We had the privilege of sitting down with the Woody family’s “village,” to talk about ALS, how it impacts their everyday life, and their incredible devotion to be a part of the family’s ALS journey. Here’s what they had to say.
Kayla met Lamar Woody back in 2017 at the music store where he taught voice and piano lessons. As her very first vocal coach, Lamar will always have a special place in her heart. He not only taught her how to sing and use her voice, he taught her about ALS.
For someone facing the daunting challenge of becoming an ALS caregiver, there are many paths to gaining the knowledge and experiences they need to care for someone with the disease. Regardless of how you prefer to learn, one thing everyone can benefit from is a reliable source of information, which can be found in the new ALS Association Caregiver Education Course.
As with hundreds of thousands of veterans, Michelle served her country honorably, eventually attaining the rank of captain, and moved on to a civilian life of work and family. But life wasn’t done with twists and turns for Michelle. In 2011, she began experiencing some muscle twitches. She didn’t think much of it at the time, and certainly didn’t suspect anything serious. “The chances of having ALS are miniscule and I never dreamed that would be my diagnosis,” Michelle says. But it was.
Kristina met Lamar Woody in high school, although it wasn’t until college when they really found their true connection. Lamar loves to tell everyone Kristina was the prettiest girl in school. Little did she know then she would not only become his wife and mother of their beautiful daughter, Natalie, but she would also become his ALS caregiver.
Only those living through the experience first-hand truly understand the challenges of being a full-time caregiver, particularly for someone living with ALS. The ability to complete basic daily tasks can be overwhelming and the need for help is great. Finding ways to help and show support for the caregiver in your life can make a huge difference for them, and for you.
Lamar and Kristina Woody are a lot like any other busy, hard-working couple. They’re juggling careers, education and the day-to-day activities of their sassy and smart nine-year-old daughter, Natalie. Married for over twelve years, they love laughter, music and spending time with family and friends, living their life focused on love, friendship and positivity. They are also living with ALS.
The ALS Association recently announced the creation of a new award to honor “superfans,” the most passionate sports and entertainment fans who are also living with ALS. The award is inspired by Stephen Kauffman, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, and was honored in 2021 by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a Golden State Warriors superfan.
Most songwriters will tell you, the key to a really good song is the lyrics, a story being told with unique chords and melodies, evoking a specific emotion and compelling listeners to connect and share. No one knows this better than the Swope family, sharing their beautiful memories and storytelling through music, rhythm and song.
We recently talked with Ashley Wong, one of the 2022 scholarship recipients, to learn more about her personal connection to ALS, what receiving the scholarship means to her, and her future plans in healthcare.
We recently talked with Liam Rudin, one of the 2022 The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship recipients, to learn more about his connection to ALS, what receiving the scholarship means to him, and his future plans studying accounting.
Matt Miller might just be the most shameless member of ‘Team Finlay,’ having spent the last 10 years taking outlandish dares from family and friends to raise money for his cousin Jack. From sleeping on roofs to participating in water aerobics dressed like Jane Fonda, there is nothing Matt won’t do to help fight ALS.
We recently talked with Veronica Darland, one of the 2022 Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship recipients, to learn more about her connection to ALS, what receiving the scholarship means to her, and her future plans in journalism.
Jackie could have been the The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter's volunteer of the month years before her mother's ALS diagnosis. Ironically, in 2013, her dedication to the ALS mission took on an entirely new meaning for her.
Erin Vierstra found the group Her ALS Story while scrolling on Instagram a little over a year ago. Erin's story is one with a long family history, and being a part of this group of women has given her a support, space to be, a platform and inspiration to keep a good thing going and growing.
We recently talked with Garrett Sakomizu, one of the 2022 recipients of The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship, to learn a little more about his connection to ALS, what receiving the scholarship means to him, and his future plans in healthcare and ALS research.
An avid skier, cyclist, and hiker, Father Jim has been a pastor at St. Michael’s Parish in Olympia, Washington for over twenty years. With members of the church community, he has traveled to numerous countries for both missionary work and recreational trips. A few years ago, he began having difficulties with muscle twitches, upper body weakness, and leg cramps. Before long he was diagnosed with ALS.