A London children’s choir sings to support ALS Canada

London’s east end will be filled with the joyous sound of children singing on Tuesday night as El Sistema Aeolian hosts their second annual ALS fundraiser, ‘Youth of Today, Cure for Tomorrow’ in partnership with Canada Life. The junior choir and children’s orchestra will take the stage alongside special guest Alexandra Kane, a local music […]

In the face of ALS, Dad is a hero and community is everything

Kelsey Barker describes her dad, Jeff, as her hero. Diagnosed with ALS in February 2018, he has since lost the use of his right arm and is now having difficulty breathing and walking – but ALS has not changed the person he is. “He lights up a room. He is selfless and courageous. He pushes […]

Think you have what it takes to pull a plane?

With the 2019 ALS Canada Plane Pull to End ALS happening this weekend, we connected with returning participants to get the low-down on what this year’s teams should keep in mind as they step onto the tarmac. Preparation Jessica Pellerin is the Communications Officer at PortsToronto. She wants to remind participants to “warm-up, stretch, and […]

From the Boston Marathon to the Walk to End ALS

On June 15, Don Doan participated in the Walk to End ALS in Brampton for the fourth time. It’s been three years since he was able to walk the course, but his positive outlook hasn’t changed. There are always people around, including his wife, Pam, to help with his wheelchair. “Generally, it’s a fight over […]

Fighting for more time – to dream, to live, to be with loved ones

Karen Van Luven, 53, and her mom, 84, both get around their apartment using walkers. Karen moved in to her mom’s apartment nine years ago to be her caregiver. Her mom was experiencing mobility issues and could no longer walk without assistance. “Now that I am living with ALS, the roles are a bit reversed,” […]

Walking in memory fuels hope and strengthens community

Lise Michaud’s brother, Eddy Lefrançois, made every day count. He lived nearly three decades with ALS, proudly defying the odds and outliving his “expiry date” (EXP: 04.97) which he tattooed on the inside of his forearm as a reminder to live with passion and purpose. Eddy’s personal motto – “Let’s Roll” – always kept him […]

Community spirit ignites passion to increase ALS awareness

An active mother of three young children, Stephanie Christiansen Hall wants people to know she has ALS – but she wants everyone to know that her disease is only part of her story. Apart from living with ALS, Stephanie is – and has always been – a selfless person with a positive nature, a desire […]

Finding inspiration from the small things makes a big difference

Brian Bower has always been passionate about sports. Above all, he is an ardent fisherman, known on occasion to snatch 15 minutes from his day for the joy of casting a line in one of the abundant waterways in and around Welland, where he lives. Brian also loves soccer, tennis, lacrosse, hockey and baseball. An […]

Music and resiliency: lessons from my father

Talking about his dad’s ALS diagnosis, Connor Stratton, 17, says, “It’s a hard thing to understand at times, but it’s good to try to look at the bright side because my dad still has his spirits up. He’s still happy around us, and that’s something that reflects on all of us.” Kerry Stratton, a well-known […]

Reinforcing spiritual values through community connection

Since receiving his ALS diagnosis in February 2018, Mark Ianniello’s life has changed in profound ways. He is a 49-year-old father to three teenagers and can no longer work to help support his family. ALS has affected his speech and his mobility. Mark admits to having ups and downs. Despite the challenges, he says ALS […]

Offsetting the loneliness and isolation of an ALS diagnosis with love and support

For the past 40 years, Dale Hodgins has been saving lives as a paramedic and volunteer firefighter in Kingston, Ontario. In December 2018, he was diagnosed with ALS – a disease he was already familiar with through his work. As far back as the 80s and 90s, Dale remembers driving people living with ALS home […]

Positive and pragmatic – an approach for one family facing the realities of ALS

According to Kevin, there’s one word that sums up ALS: a thief. “ALS is a thief – and a remorseless one at that,” he explains in writing. Now that he can no longer speak, he uses eye gaze technology to type messages with his eyes – his only method of communicating. “The sooner we can arrest […]

The Do’s and Dont’s of Pulling a Plane

The countdown is on to ALS Canada’s Plane Pull to End ALS. With only two days until the event, we wanted to help get you in the right frame of mind and give you some advice to consider. Pulling a plane isn’t something that most people have done and there really isn’t a lot of […]

Pulling together – with our sponsors – to end ALS

It takes a lot of people to develop and execute an incredible fundraising event — and establishing and nurturing strong relationships is critical to its success. Our partners have demonstrated commitment, dedication and enthusiasm for the upcoming Plane Pull to End ALS and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight their contributions. Thank you […]

ALS Canada’s Plane Pull to End ALS moves to Downtown Toronto

By now you’ve likely heard or read about our new partnerships with Ports Toronto and Porter Airlines Inc. It’s exciting because our 8th Annual Plane Pull to End ALS has found a new home at Toronto’s Downtown Billy Bishop Airport and the move has given us the opportunity to expand on our vision to deliver […]

ALS Canada Brings the Eighth Annual Plane Pull to End ALS to Billy Bishop Airport

The October 20, 2018, event is an opportunity for corporate teams to pull a 37,000-lb plane 100 meters and raise funds to support a future without ALS. TORONTO – September 17 – Today, ALS Canada is excited to announce that the eighth annual Plane Pull to End ALS will take place at Billy Bishop Toronto […]

Wrapping up ALS Awareness Month

ALS Awareness Month is all about telling stories. Over the course of the month of June, people and families affected by ALS shared their personal stories about why they gave and who they gave for. On June 27, 2018, Dr. David Taylor, VP of Research at ALS Canada was joined by caregiver turned volunteer, Beth Robertson, […]

Mother and daughter caregiving team reach out with love and compassion

When Emma and Tom Belen decided to share the tragic news of Tom’s ALS diagnosis with their two daughters at a Sunday lunch gathering in March 2011, their eldest daughter, Stephanie, surprised them both. She decided to announce her pregnancy even though she and her husband hadn’t planned on telling anyone before the end of […]

Healing through giving: A daughter’s story

It was Noella LeBlanc’s father who was diagnosed with ALS, but she believes the disease was responsible for her mother’s death, too. “The two of them had been joined at the hip for nearly 50 years, raising their children and enjoying travel in their retirement years” Noella says of her parents before the diagnosis. “My […]

Enduring love of a ‘forever husband’ inspires hope

ALS took the love of her life in September 2017, but Debbie Caswell’s love for her husband Jamie is still the light that guides her. This June Awareness Month marks their first wedding anniversary. At the time of the ceremony, Jamie had already lost the ability to eat, speak, and breathe without the help of […]

A Caregiver’s Story, Part 3: Looking forward, looking back

Jess Gustafson says she will never forget the first time she met Lianne, the ALS Canada Regional Manager in her area. Lianne came and sat with Jess and her husband, Alan, on their front porch to talk to them about what they could expect following the shocking news confirming Alan’s ALS diagnosis. Lianne provided informed […]

A Caregiver’s Story, Part 2: Speaking out against the helplessness of ALS

It is difficult to stay positive in the face of an ALS diagnosis. Jess Gustafson says she and her husband, Alan, found hope and courage by supporting each other with a love that deepened over the course of Alan’s illness. She was also sustained by the outpouring of support offered by their wide circle of […]

A Caregiver’s Story, Part 1: Championing the ALS cause

Caring for a loved one with ALS is a challenging task that requires time, energy and emotional resilience, and caregivers give so much of themselves — time and time again. Even after a loved one passes away, caregivers continue to give in many ways. And for everything that ALS takes, love is the one thing […]

How it feels knowing your daughter has ALS

Peter Sharman and his wife, Louise, were on a cruise in the Black Sea when they received the call. Their daughter, Carol, had just been diagnosed with ALS and they were thousands of miles away. Immediately running to the computer, Peter looked up those three letters to see if what he had heard was true […]

Acting against everything that ALS takes

June is ALS Awareness Month in Canada. And while we are only four days in, already there has been lots of momentum behind our shared cause: MPs have made statements in the House of Commons; landmarks have been lit in purple; WALK for ALS events are in full swing in communities across the country. Awareness […]

ALS Canada responds to the #ALSPepperChallenge

From ice cold buckets of water to red hot peppers, this new viral challenge is turning up the heat for ALS research around the world. Now, ALS Canada accepts the #ALSPepperChallenge — thanks to Eddy Lefrançois, Justin Landry and MP Francis Drouin for the nominations. We challenge Reshmi Nair of CBC News Network, Travis and Carol […]

The power of connection – one family’s experience with ALS

Throughout his lifetime, David Urlin has worn many hats. He has worked as a farmer, a businessman, a hotel owner and a deputy mayor, and in his spare time he used to play football, baseball, hockey, and racquetball. Then in 2016, everything changed. “David always did so much,” says his wife, Mag. “He cooked, he […]

Deanna Fennell: moving forward and giving back

Updated: September 17, 2018 For many years, the WALK for ALS has been bringing people together in support of a shared cause. Everyone has their own reasons for participating: some go to support a recently-diagnosed friend or family member; others focus on raising awareness, and some people WALK to honour the legacy of a loved […]

Kristine Lee: making adjustments along the way

For the past decade, Kristine Lee has been progressively losing the ability to stand on her own. A wife and mother of two, Kristine has upper motor neuron predominant ALS, a form of the disease that typically progresses more slowly than others. A few weeks before her local WALK for ALS, she opened up about […]

Upcoming Webinar: The Canadian ALS Neuroimaging Consortium (CALSNIC)

Webinar: The Canadian ALS Neuroimaging Consortium (CALSNIC) Monday, April 24 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time: 30 minutes + questions Hosted by: Dr. Sanjay Kalra Click here to register for the Webinar During this webinar you can expect to learn how Dr. Kalra has built a team of researchers across Canada to develop the ability to […]

WALK for ALS early results: $3.9 million (and counting!) raised nationwide

Throughout the spring, summer and fall of 2016, Canadians showed they care about beating ALS, the devastating neuromuscular disease that gradually paralyzes people and takes away their ability to move, talk, swallow, eat and eventually breathe. In communities across the country – from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, NL, and from Windsor, ON to Whitehorse, […]