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.
Maureen Stemmelen was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. She has always been known as "the Gatherer", bringing friends, family and community in with open arms and an open heart. Her ALS journey has only served to affirm this, and she encourages everyone to lean in, let your friends, family and neighbors surround you - caregivers are your lifeline.
Jack Finlay was just 22 years old when he was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. Working toward his degree at the University of Montana, he vowed to not let the disease get in the way of achieving his dreams and living his best life.
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.
Since Mark’s diagnosis in 2000, he has been committed to the fight against ALS on many levels. Over the past 21 years, he has advocated locally at the state level and nationally on Capitol Hill. He’s volunteered at innumerous events with The ALS Association Mid-America Chapter and served on the Chapter’s board and Services Committee. All who know him say his ALS diagnosis does not define him, instead it motivates him to do more and to give hope to others.
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.
Earlier this year Scott Kauffman, a business executive and long-time leader in the fight against ALS, began his tenure as chairman of The ALS Association Board of Trustees. We recently caught up with Scott on Connecting ALS, where he talked about his connection to the disease, raising awareness and his vision for creating a world without ALS.
Dr. Bridget Stegman was diagnosed with bulbar onset ALS in February 2022. She and her family have been embraced by their community, who have showered them with love and hope as they rally together to spread awareness of this disease.
Stomp Out ALS is a third-party fundraiser hosted by Brandi Hyatt in memory of her father Jack who passed away in 2017. The event is centered around the Kentucky Derby - getting dressed up, wearing big hats, eating delicious Southern-themed food and baked goods, picking horses and other Derby-related activities.
In celebration of mothers everywhere today, we are honored to share the story of celebrity hairdresser and beauty expert, Ken Paves, and his amazing story about life, love and caring for his beautiful mother, Helen, who recently lost her battle with ALS.
I have been very fortunate and extremely unlucky in my life. I have bulbar-onset ALS. Of course, living with this “new normal” is challenging. But my previous experience with grief has informed my attitude now as well, and I try to live each day as best I can, in the most positive way possible.
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 spoke with Jeff Elbert, volunteer and board member for The ALS Association Florida Chapter, to learn more about his personal connection to ALS and his fight to bring more critical care and support to people living with ALS and their families.
For more than ten years, Donna has worked with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter as Director of Development. She has also been a constant advocate, supporting the chapter’s ALS families through fundraising initiatives, and a caring, compassionate ally throughout their ALS journey. Hayley and Felicia joined Donna in her mission to help people impacted by ALS when they were young girls.
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.
Volunteering for The ALS Association is the longest I’ve ever done anything in my life. There’s always more to be done, but creating an environment, virtual or in-person, where people impacted by ALS feel welcome, empowered, and heard is so important.