For Katy, her grandmother has always been a constant in her life – from Wednesday night family dinners to dropping her off at various sporting events. When Katy’s grandmother was diagnosed with ALS in 2018, things began to change, but the love they share only has grown to be more precious.
Katy is in 11th grade and currently an Ambassador in the Girl Scouts. She is starting to work on her Girl Scout Gold Award, and when brainstorming what she could do, ALS was the first cause to pop into her mind. Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors who earn the Gold Award tackle issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond.
For this project, Katy has decided to create a document of tips and tricks for the ALS caregiver. She has watched her family, especially her grandfather, adapt to various ways of caring for her grandmother and she knows that what they have learned could potentially help other people in the same situation. Katy will be working with her grandfather and reaching out to other ALS caregivers in her local community to compile suggestions to help others in the future.
Katy is used to visiting her grandmother every Wednesday, and due to COVID-19, her whole family has had to rely on group texting to stay in contact. Her grandfather even made a daily schedule so everyone knows who will be sending detailed updates on that day.
Over the past two years, Katy has grown to appreciate the little moments that she gets to share with her grandmother. Her advice for people who might be going through the same thing with someone they love is just to take every moment you get and be appreciative of what you have. The small moments you have with the people you love turn into the best memories.
There are so many ways for children and young adults to get involved and support people with ALS, especially through the ALS Youth Challenge. ALS Youth Action Day is on May 16th, but you can take the ALS Youth Challenge any day! By telling stories about your ALS hero, spreading awareness through social media, hosting a creative virtual event (like a dance-off), or fundraiser you’ll be showing the world that ALS needs to be cured.