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.
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.
On Monday, March 26, more than 150 shooters gathered for the 3rd Annual Shoot Out ALS tournament at the Greater Houston Gun Club, raising $127,000 for the fight against ALS. Shooting enthusiasts participated in an afternoon shoot followed by cocktails and dinner, a live auction, and an awards reception.
At the tournament, we recognized ALS Hero JC Creath. Before ALS, JC and his wife Andrea were photographers, always on the go. While busy photographing weddings, families, pets, and babies, the symptoms of ALS began. JC began tripping and falling, and he struggled to catch his breath at times.
On Sunday, January 14, 35 runners participated in the Chevron Houston Marathon Run for a Reason Program in support of the ALS Association of Texas. The Run for a Reason program “connects the philanthropic community to passionate race participants willing to fundraise and raise awareness for meaningful causes,” according to the Marathon website. This is the eighth year that the ALS Association of Texas has been chosen as an official Charity of Choice.
By Guillermo Garcia
My name is Guillermo Garcia. I am from San Antonio, Texas, and I was diagnosed with ALS in November 2015. It was ironic, because in August of 2014 we saw the Ice Bucket Challenge explode. Prior to that, we didn’t really have any knowledge of ALS and didn’t personally know anyone who had it. A group of us got involved in the challenge with my daughter’s softball team, and we started challenging everyone to do it. But we still didn’t really have a good idea of what it was.
In October of that year, my wife asked if I’d noticed that I had some twitching going on. I hadn’t until she pointed it out. We waited about a month to see if it would go away, but it didn’t. It just so happened that at the time, I was also having some issues with what we thought was carpal tunnel. I told my doctor about the twitching and was referred to a neurologist for some tests. I was diagnosed with ALS in November 2015, a year after initially noticing symptoms.
Three days before Christmas 2009, Turner Corbett’s family got the devastating news that his mom, Jennifer, had been diagnosed with ALS. Turner was just 12 years old.
Wanting to make the most of a difficult situation, in 2015, Turner created a benefit event that would raise money for ALS research. After running through some ideas with his friend Alex Doswell, they decided a dodgeball tournament would be the most fun and family friendly.
In April, golf enthusiasts gathered for an afternoon round in support of the fight against ALS. More than 130 golfers participated in the 3rd Annual Under Ballou Skies Golf Classic followed by a dinner reception and silent auction.
The golf classic began in 2015 after an ALS Texas board meeting in which members were asked what they enjoyed doing that could become a fundraiser. Board member Bob Ballou thought to himself that he enjoyed golf and that he likes to get his friends together to play. Thus, the tournament began. When Bob saw that no income was budgeted for the first tournament in 2015, and he threw down a dollar and said “Look, we’ve already beat the budget!” He was determined to start the tournament off right, raising significant funds for the fight against ALS. That year, the tournament raised $15,000.