Federated Health Charities Spotlight: ALS Society of Canada

Jun 7, 2023

This year’s Federated Health Charities campaign runs from April 3, 2023, to June 30, 2023. During the campaign, we will highlight how each of our 21 charities works to improve the health and well-being of people across our province.

The thirteenth charity in our spotlight is the ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada). ALS Canada was founded in 1977 to address the need for better treatments, better access to clinical care, and high-quality research toward finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). ALS Canada works across Canada with the ALS community to improve the lives of people affected by ALS and provides direct community services in Ontario to help people navigate ALS.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, gradually paralyzes people. In people with ALS, the motor neurons, specialized nerve cells that transmit signals between the brain and the muscles of the body, begin to break down and die. As the motor neurons die, the brain can no longer communicate with the muscles of the body. The muscles become weak, and eventually, someone living with ALS will be unable to move them.

People diagnosed with ALS face what is called “progressive paralysis”. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe. Currently, most people diagnosed with ALS will die within two to five years.  

I went home and cried for days.

While we still don’t know exactly what causes ALS, recent years have been a time of unprecedented movement in ALS research. There is hope that researchers are on the brink of finding treatments to significantly alter the course of the disease but more funding and better access to clinical trials and new treatments are needed to help develop effective ALS treatments sooner rather than later. ALS Canada funds high-quality research that offers the most promise to slow down ALS or even stop it. Research is the pathway that will change the course of ALS and make it a treatable, not terminal, disease.

For people diagnosed with ALS today, the disease is a physical, emotional and financial challenge for people with ALS, their caregivers and their loved ones. In Ontario, ALS Canada provides essential support to people with ALS through their Equipment Program, which loans equipment to people with ALS at no cost to them and the Community Leads team, which helps people affected by ALS to navigate the healthcare system. Community Leads provide people affected by ALS the support of someone who has been there, someone who can help them understand what’s coming next and what support they might need.

“Being part of Federated Health Charities is very important to ALS Canada,” says Tammy Moore, CEO, of ALS Canada. “We are 100% donor-funded, and those dollars really help us to be able to assist people within the community.”

ALS Canada joined Federated Health Charities in 2017. Thanks to donors across the Ontario public service, we are helping to create a future without ALS.

To learn more about ALS Canada, please visit ALS Canada.

To make a payroll pledge or donation to support ALS Canada and Federated Health Charities, please visit Federated Health Charities.

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For general questions:

Sarah Wood
Executive Director
437-925-6227
sarah.wood2@ontario.ca

Address

315 Front St. West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 0B8

Federated Health Charities White Logo

For general questions:

Sarah Wood
Executive Director
437-925-6227
sarah.wood2@ontario.ca

Address

315 Front St. West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON
M7A 0B8

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