In 2018 we set out with the goal to spark hope, ignite action, and inspire others to join us in the fight to create a world without ALS. And it was thanks to our wonderful community that we were able to achieve that goal. Throughout the year we provided patient services, hosted community events, and helped fund life-changing research to find new treatments for this devastating disease.
The ALS Association Introduces New Mission Integration Concept at the Walk to Defeat ALS
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people across the country bring their determination, energy, and passion to the Walk to Defeat ALS to celebrate the progress made in the search for a cure with the ALS community. This year, we’ll honor our loved ones who are battling ALS and who have battled ALS through our new program UNLOCK ALS.
We’ll celebrate the real possibility of unlocking the mysteries of ALS. Anyone may hold the key to UNLOCK ALS – a fundraiser raising funds for the cure, a person with ALS participating in a clinical trial, a researcher developing treatments, even you.
In July 2016, the ALS Association of Texas welcomed Jessica Welch as the organization’s first Regional Director on its statewide team. Tasked with leading the full mission of the ALS Association in the Greater Houston and East Texas region, her leadership in this new role has catapulted the Chapter forward in achieving its mission.
Thanks to this new on-the-ground leadership in the region, the team in the Houston office has a greater sense of ownership of their work and a renewed passion for ensuring they successfully meet the needs of those living with ALS in the region. And the results are evident with improved communications and team cohesiveness among the care services, fundraising, and operations functions.
Caregivers of people with ALS are crucial in the care of their loved ones battling this disease. Being the primary caregiver for a loved one with ALS can be stressful – not only are you on call 24/7, but you may have additional outside responsibilities, like working a full- or part-time job or caring for additional family.
ALS caregiver Trixie Stanford was honored at the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation‘s 2nd Annual Excellence in Caregiving Awards in April. A Belton resident, Trixie serves as the primary caregiver for her son Charlie.
On June 8 and 9, more than 65 fishermen from around the state gathered for the first-ever ALS Fishing Classic in Port Mansfield, Texas, raising $30,000 for the fight against ALS.
Participants competed in a speckled trout and redfish competition for prizes furnished by Yeti. They enjoyed a raffle, live and silent auctions, and delicious local food.
In 2001, Patricia and Oran Hamilton welcomed their son Patrick into the world. As Patricia started this new chapter in her life, she knew that she wanted to cherish every moment of motherhood. Over the years, she watched as her son grew, encouraging his love of learning.
When Patrick was 11, Patricia started experiencing weakness in her hand, and went to a neurologist who gave her three different diagnoses. In March 2014, she was finally diagnosed with ALS.
New Regional Director Joins North Texas Team
Since it’s official formation in early 2012, The ALS Association of Texas has seen an exponential increase in the number of Texans with ALS that it is assisting. Along with that growth came the increasing challenge of ensuring that the chapter was best positioned and resourced to provide people in every corner of the state access to ALS clinics, support groups, loaned medical equipment and other resources to live with ALS.
To that end, last year the chapter began developing a staffing structure that went beyond the traditional department-focused organizational chart to something that would provide for on-the-ground leadership in each of its three regions serving ALS patients and their families within Texas.
More than 570 ALS advocates from across the country joined together for the 2018 National ALS Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., on May 13-15. Nearly every state in the country was represented, with 22 advocates hailing from Texas.
Stacey Crowder was one of the Texans who went to D.C. to advocate for People with ALS. Stacey was diagnosed with ALS on August 11, 2016. He’d first noticed a slight twinge in his left bicep earlier that year, and when he received an ALS diagnosis, it took him and his family on an emotional roller coaster. At first, Stacey was devastated and scared, but he was able to cope by relying on his spirituality and the support of his friends and family.
Golf, sports, and fighting ALS. The 4th Annual Under Ballou Skies Golf Classic is a unique combination of these three things. This year’s event raised $70,000 for ALS research and patient care programs, with more than 130 golfers participating.
This one-of-a-kind event incorporates several sports-themed contests throughout a round of golf at the Twin Creeks Country Club in Cedar Park, Texas. Golfers shot hoops with Hoops Austin, pitched with the Round Rock Express, and played a little golf pong.
May is ALS Awareness Month. For the next 31 days, we will be dedicated to education about ALS and the important work we’re doing to find treatments and a cure. This month is also dedicated to advocating for people with ALS and their caregivers.
This year, Raise Your Voice to bring awareness to ALS. Even if you’re a person with ALS who has lost the ability to speak, you still have a voice. You can increase ALS awareness by sharing your personal story on social media, writing letters to members of Congress, donating to our mission, and using speech generating devices and sign language to talk to people about the issues people with ALS face every day.