In 2009, at the age of 57, my stepfather, Steve West, was diagnosed with ALS. Voice recognition technology and the support of family, friends, and neighbors have helped prolong his life. We’re grateful to still have him with us today.
I challenged my SEER teammates to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with me, and my family and I were touched by the number of people who joined in. So here are me and several of my Philadelphia SEER coworkers, getting cold & wet for the cause. We’ve challenged our friends at Moz, O3 World, and Happy Cog. (Bonus challenge: SEER San Diego team)
But you don’t have to dump ice water on your head to support ALS. My mother provided the ALS charities and programs she and Steve recommend giving to. Here they are:
“According to a study published in 2013 by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (which also supports patients with ALS and basic research), ALS costs a family an average of $65,000 per year. The outstanding support that we have received from the ALS Philadelphia Chapter makes this group their most recommended program. A $100 donation will enable a family to hire 4 hours of home care designed to support both patient and caregiver.”
ALS Philadelphia Chapter
If you want to give practical help for families living with ALS, consider a direct donation to the ALS Philadelphia Chapter. This stellar organization works seamlessly with the Pennsylvania Hospital ALS Clinic—working with team clinicians at clinic and making important in-home visits. Their home care and respite program provides essential relief to caregivers. Counselors and social workers visit at home and a loaner closet defrays the costs of pricey patient lifts, wheelchairs, and more. In addition, the chapter’s assistive technology resources are a national resource.
If you like the idea of giving tech equipment to people with ALS, consider Team Gleason, founded by former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason. Gleason has created a foundation dedicated to giving communication equipment to people who have lost their speech, handicap vans, and much more.
If you are focused on ridding the world of ALS, consider giving to the ALS-Therapy Development Institute, located in Boston, which puts 2/3 of its dollars into ALS research.