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.
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.
After my dad was diagnosed, there was no hesitation that our family was going to fight alongside him. So that meant it was time to volunteer with The ALS Association. We all knew right then and there that our volunteer work wasn’t going to save our father, but it was going to help others not feel the devastation we were feeling at the time of his diagnosis.
Jake met Bill Wechsler during his freshman year in high school in Holliston, MA. Challenged with academic and mental health issues at the time, Jake was referred to Bill who was the school social worker for counseling and support. By the spring of his junior year, Jake had made so much progress he no longer needed the formal counseling he had become accustomed to, but he still frequently visited Bill to spend time talking with him. It was around that same time that Bill was diagnosed with ALS.
While thinking about what I could do that would be a special and fun fundraiser, I noticed a famous drag queen asking for donations to a nonprofit on her social media and I thought “How do I get her to do that for The ALS Association?”
I’m hopeful because when my father left us, he left a piece of himself with me, and I’ll do everything I can to raise as much money and awareness as possible so that those three letters - A L S - are no longer considered a death sentence.
Today, in Major League ballparks across the country, fans will take part in the celebration of the second annual Lou Gehrig Day, an event to help spread awareness and raise funds for people living with ALS and their families. And no baseball fan is more excited than Larry Falivena.
Mike will never forget receiving a phone call telling him that his best friend, Matt, had been diagnosed with ALS. The first event Mike attended for The ALS Association was a golf event in Janesville with Matt. That one event has now become years of walks and third-party events supporting The ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter.
We recently caught up with Lindsay Litterini, volunteer and board member for The ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter, to learn more about her personal connection to ALS and her passion to join the fight against the disease.
Spring feels like it’s just around the corner for most of us, and that means ALS communities nationwide are preparing to kick off their 2022 Walk to Defeat ALS® events. And if the hard work and dedication we see each year from our incredible volunteers and families is any indication, it’s sure to be yet another amazing opportunity to join the fight for all those impacted by ALS.
Since high school, twenty-two-year-old Wil Armstrong dreamed of cycling across the country. After witnessing the impact of ALS on Rodney Lapp, his former mentor and high school basketball coach, Wil found his purpose to make this dream a reality.
To help empower kids in the fight against ALS, The ALS Association is celebrating the third annual ALS Youth Action Day on Saturday, May 15. It’s a day where kids across the country can take the ALS Youth Challenge and use the power of their creativity to help raise awareness and critical funds that help researchers around the world look for treatments and a cure while enabling people with ALS to live longer, higher quality lives.
Since 2019, Kevin Heller -- a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran who was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 58 -- and his team #GiveEmHeller, put their hearts and souls into the nation’s top-grossing ALS fundraiser, the Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS and Walk.
While local conditions for events vary state by state, the priority is the safety and well-being of people with ALS, their families and caregivers, and our volunteers and staff. So while Walk to Defeat ALS® events may look a little different from place to place, the ALS community will creatively come together safely in local markets to honor a loved one with the disease, to remember those who have passed, and to raise awareness and critical fundraising support for the fight against ALS.
After watching his Aunt Christie battle ALS for more than nine years, twenty-one-year-old Ryan Wilson was determined to find a way to honor her fight and make a difference for the ALS community. So, he decided to ride his bike from Poughkeepsie, NY to Miami, FL to help raise awareness and funds for ALS research.
Just as ALS did not stop for COVID-19, the Walk to Defeat ALS® did not stop. The simple fact is, we can’t wait for COVID-19 to end before we walk. Instead, chapters across the country have been coming up with innovative ways to move this signature event into virtual spaces, creating new opportunities for our communities to come together in unity to keep building a world without ALS.
An ALS diagnosis is not only devastating to the person receiving it, but to their entire family, and kids are all too often the collateral damage. The disease forces many kids to pitch in as caregivers and often delay their educations. Kids who serve as caregivers often talk about feeling isolated and unsupported by their peer groups.