Today marks the 6th anniversary of the very first ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where people around the world came together to raise awareness and funds to end ALS. Since then, thanks to the overwhelming kindness and generosity of our supporters, The ALS Association has been able to commit $111,449,730.53 to research that's led to amazing discoveries, bringing us ever closer to treatments and a cure for this devastating and always fatal disease.
In his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, Gehrig called himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. He wasn’t thinking of himself, though. He was thanking those who had helped him in life. He was helping his family, his friends, and his fans get through the ordeal of his illness.
Not to be deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic, ALS Association advocates from across the country held more than 350 virtual meetings with members of Congress Tuesday, adapting the Association’s longstanding annual Advocacy Conference to ensure the safety of participants. Historically, upwards of 600 ALS advocates gather in the nation’s capital for days of face-to-face meetings with their elected representatives in the Congress and the Senate.
About 10 percent of all cases of ALS are due to genetic mutations and are inherited from a family member. If there are two or more family members with ALS, the disease is considered familial, and there is a 50% chance of passing that mutation on to each of his or her children. For siblings Jim Weber and Cathy Kettner, it’s the 50-50 proposition that brings them to the fight.
Meet Connor Way. Connor is your typical 8-year-old boy: he loves to play outside with his friends, go to school, and spend time with his family, especially his grandfather he calls “Papa.” But there’s something different about Connor’s story, his “Papa” had 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.
Carianne Meystrik has been living with ALS for 22 years – all while raising 4 children. In honor of Mother’s Day, we reached out to Carianne to check in on her ALS journey and her family, and to get her reflections on the impact ALS has had on motherhood.
Gary Trosper was a transportation executive before he was diagnosed with ALS in 2015. After two years, he was forced to retire due to his symptoms, but he knew he didn’t want to just sit around: he wanted to make a difference. Acting as an advocate and taking action for himself and others is very important to him.
In recent years Giving Tuesday has emerged as a preeminent day in late November for everyone around the world to commit to charitable giving as a way to give back to those in need during a season defined by giving. On May 5, in recognition of the crisis charitable causes face in the face of the global pandemic and economic shutdown, a new opportunity to come together in support of your community will be held: #GivingTuesdayNow.
May is ALS Awareness Month. Of course, this year is different than past years as the world has changed significantly in the face of a global pandemic. However, ALS doesn’t stop and neither will we. During the month of May we have a full calendar to increase awareness of ALS and of the severe physical, emotional, and financial burdens it creates for people living with the disease and their families. We’ll be talking about the disease and its burdens in the context of the COVID-19 public health crisis, which exacerbates the difficulties people living with ALS already face in number.
Before he was diagnosed with ALS in June 2018, Troy Fields was a hardworking businessman, devoted husband, and father. He had a job that he loved as a manager for a multinational company with responsibilities in Latin America. He traveled a lot, and when he wasn’t working, he was spending quality time with his family. But in 2017, he started to sense something was physically wrong.
National Volunteer Week kicks off today. The weeklong celebration of volunteers began in 1974 and honors the people who come together and volunteer their time and resources to solve some of the world’s greatest problems.
Until he was diagnosed, Bob Palucki didn’t really know anything about ALS. “It really didn’t affect anybody in my family,” he says. “We’ve come so far in all the different medicines for all the different diseases and to think that we’ve got a disease as terrible as this and there’s no cure for it, there’s not even anything that can stop it from progressing.”
With congressional leaders scheduled to begin work on additional stimulus legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The ALS Association is continuing to push to include protecting access to noninvasive ventilators (NIV) and to making sure people with ALS can access their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in the coronavirus response packages.
Tom Mountin’s ALS diagnosis came as quite a shock in August 2016. “Before that, I was a tax attorney and thinking about retirement and all of a sudden, oh, I guess we're going to accelerate this retirement,” he said.
ALS Association chapter executives from across the country held more than 250 meetings with members of Congress Wednesday as part of the Association’s annual “fly in” advocacy push. While the meetings generally occur in-person in Washington, D.C., this year’s discussions shifted to virtual platforms in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and emerging social distancing and shelter in place rules across the country.
The ALS Association is excited to announce $1.4 million in grants to help develop technology that will enhance the quality of life for people living with ALS. The funding supports research in fields ranging from assistive communications and noninvasive ventilation to wearable sensors and a brain-computer interface.