Seizing Today by Planning for Tomorrow

As a former business analyst, James is accustomed to planning for the future. He has lived with ALS officially since 2013, but his doctors believe he has had ALS for over 20 years. James has an exceptionally slow progression of the disease, which has given him time to do what he does best: plan for […]

A story of unwavering positivity in the face of ALS

When Shelley first started to notice a change in her gait, she had no idea that an ALS diagnosis was on the horizon. In fact, up until her neurologist confirmed the diagnosis in early 2016, Shelley didn’t even know what ALS was. For many people and families living with ALS, the diagnosis can come as […]

Awareness Month Round-Up

As the month of June wraps up, so too does ALS Awareness Month. Over the past several weeks, ALS Canada has invited you to #SeizeTodayALS by telling us how you have chosen to find joy and laughter in every day, despite the challenges of living with ALS. We have been privileged to share the stories […]

Caring for a loved one with ALS brings poignant new perspectives

A week before the annual WALK for ALS in his community, Susan Peacock’s husband, Jeff, spent a few hours on his computer composing a message to post on Facebook using eye gaze software. The technology allows him to communicate now that he can no longer speak, but, as Susan is quick to point out, it […]

The Power of Love: “As long as we’re together, everything will be alright”

Like most couples, Denis and Tom had dreams for their future together. They met 25 years ago in Philadelphia, and when Denis accepted a new position in Toronto, Tom quit his job and moved to a foreign city to be with him. Tom found a job in his field, became a Canadian in 2000 and […]

Building “a beautiful life” with dignity and respect

Husband. Partner. Lifelong friend. Grace had known Randy since he was a teenager, and over time he had become all of these things to her. The couple had been married for almost 50 years before Randy passed away from ALS in March 2016, and Grace recounts that they had built “a beautiful life” together in […]

How a grandson learned to cherish every moment

When Fabio talks about his grandmother Giuseppina, the love and respect he has for her is unmistakable. The woman he describes is warm, fun-spirited and hard-working; a woman who would do anything for the ones she loves. As the eldest of eight grandchildren, Fabio shared a unique bond with Giuseppina, who passed away earlier this […]

From grief to hope: how my grandfather’s ALS diagnosis gave me purpose

From a very young age, my grandfather and I had a special connection. I remember as a young girl, he and my grandmother would go to Portugal for six months at a time. When they returned, I refused to leave his side and would spend hours just staring up at him, thinking how lucky I […]

“I am so much more than my physical abilities”

The only muscles Jeff can fully control are behind his eyes. He lives with ALS, but that hasn’t stopped him from staying fully engaged in life and finding purpose in helping others. That’s the way he’s always been, says his wife, Darlene, who has known him since high school. Nowadays, everything takes extra time, but […]

A Daughter’s Resolution to Honour her Father

If you were to have asked Kimberley a couple years ago the definition of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, she would have admitted that she did not know. Medically speaking, the word “lateral” identifies the area where nerve cells in the spinal cord that nourish the muscles are located. As nerve cells die, the muscles receive no […]

Finding Comfort in Creativity

When life hands you an ALS diagnosis, the fear of the unknown can often prevent you from embracing the present. This is something Mary-Anne experienced first-hand three years ago, when she was diagnosed with ALS. During a vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 2012, on her way to a yoga class, Mary-Anne tripped and fell […]

Eddy is Living Life on his Terms

When Eddy was diagnosed with ALS in 1992, he was given three to five years to live. His symptoms began with a weakness in his left hand that gradually progressed throughout his body. “Over the next 15 months I was unable to skate, run the length of a squash court without falling, and was constantly […]

Seizing Today with Passion and Humour

Judy is the kind of woman who can make you smile in any situation. With a zest for life, unwavering positivity and a witty sense of humour, Judy is an inspiration for what it means to seize today. At first glance, you wouldn’t know that Judy has ALS. At the age of 64, she is […]

Carol: Living, Loving and Laughing Today

Diagnosed with ALS in September 2013 at the age of 41, Carol has surpassed the two to three year life expectancy that was originally given to her by her neurologist. Since then, she has struggled with degenerating muscle function every day – but she refuses to let that stop her. When she first received her […]

A Walk for Remembrance and Awareness

Last month, John Scarborough and his two brothers completed their “Long Walk Home.” The 459km walk was a way to honour their sister and John’s first wife who both died of cancer, and to remember Rita, John’s second wife who died with ALS a year ago. The brothers set out in Toronto from the home […]

“Life is beautiful:” Seizing Today with love, support and adventure

In his lifetime, Jamie has climbed the Swiss Alps, bungee jumped, skydived, white water rafted and cave climbed. He has gone on a balloon ride in Estonia, taken a cruise to the Caribbean, done a rainforest canopy tour in St. Lucia and proposed to his best friend. Since his ALS diagnosis in 2016, he has […]

A positive mental attitude continues to drive Don’s daily workout

Oftentimes, significant life struggles – like an ALS diagnosis – bring about a reassessment and shift in perspective. For Don, living with ALS means readjusting his physical goals, but his attitude about life is the same as it has always been. He calls it “PMA” (positive mental attitude), a term that embodies Don’s optimism. Don […]

Losing mobility never stopped Tim from walking through life with a smile

Tim was always actively engaged in life. He loved his work, coaching and playing hockey, riding his bike, and spending time with his circle of family and friends. ALS took away his ability to move. It forced him to make huge adjustments but living with the disease never changed the way he approached life. Just […]

John: Getting by with a little help from his friends

John has always had a positive outlook on life. For many of those living with ALS, the diagnosis can often bring a shift in perspective in what is meaningful and important. For John, it simply reaffirmed the way he has always chosen to live. John is a 63 year-old retired animal and agriculture research worker […]

There’s no better time than right now to seize today

Receiving an ALS diagnosis is overwhelming, and many people and families living with the disease will tell you its realities are devastating. ALS can take away your mobility, your ability to speak and laugh, your strength and your ability to eat and drink. What it cannot take away is the relationships, love and personal connections […]

Paying it forward to benefit people with ALS in the future

Deirdre O’Connor and her husband, Floyd, became ALS Canada donors 15 years ago. At the time, they had no personal connection to the cause, but they liked the fact that ALS Canada was a small, cost-effective charitable organization without a lot of overhead. Deirdre’s generosity extends to half a dozen or more organizations she supports […]

Honouring Mom this Mother’s Day, and always

For many families, Mother’s Day is a time of celebration and joy. For others, it can be a time of sadness and reflection when there is an empty seat at a once-filled dinner table. For Anna Acheson, Sunday will be the first Mother’s Day she spends without her mother, Margaret. After participating in the 2016 […]

Fulfilling a promise and a passion

National Volunteer Week: Tara Wingrave With two 18 year-old daughters, a 19 year-old son, and a highly demanding job, life is hectic, but that won’s stop me from making the time to organize the Barrie WALK for ALS again this year. It’s something I feel passionate about, and it’s one of the most important ways […]

Finding support, hope, and community through volunteering

National Volunteer Week: Jacqui Devine They always say ALS is rare, so it’s surprising how many times you hear about people who have been diagnosed with the disease. In 2012, I was working as a personal support worker and my favourite client was living with ALS. Since I knew very little about it, I decided […]

Fighting for Genetic Fairness

National Volunteer Week: Benjamin Ritsma I am a physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry), a specialty that aims to help people function better as they deal with a neurological or musculoskeletal condition. My career path was influenced by my own family’s experience with ALS. As a Physiatrist at the ALS clinic, I work with […]

Making a meaningful contribution

National Volunteer Week: Caroline Price The hardest part about retiring for me was losing the daily connection with my “family” of colleagues. It was one of the reasons I was actively looking for a volunteer role when a position with ALS Canada turned up in an online search. If an opportunity presents itself at the […]

Living, Loving, Laughing… and Volunteering

National Volunteer Week: Carol Skinner When I received my ALS diagnosis in 2013, I was given two to three years to live. I was 41 years old. I had settled into a rewarding career – art therapy – and I was happily married to the man I love. Learning I had ALS and that “there […]

“Compassion is what drives us.”

National Volunteer Week: Geneviève Bertrand Many of us who contribute to the work of ALS Canada as volunteers have a personal connection to ALS, whether we are living with the disease ourselves, or supporting or remembering a close family member, friend, colleague or acquaintance. We are spurred on by the hope for a cure, and want […]

“When you are loved, you have everything:” ALS Canada ambassador Eddy Lefrançois reflects on 25 years living with ALS

Like many young people, 22-year-old Eddy Lefrançois had carefully mapped out his future and had a vision of how his life would be. Then, on April 14, 1992, his doctor delivered the news that Eddy had ALS. That day and that news changed his life forever – but not in the way you might expect. […]

National Family Caregiver Day: A conversation with ALS Caregiver Jonathan Corber

Jonathan Corber is an ALS Canada Ambassador. After his mother, Wendy, was diagnosed with ALS in February 2016, Jonathan became one of her primary caregivers and stayed in this role through to the end of her journey. Jonathan took some time to connect with us recently to share his experience as his mother’s caregiver for […]

Trevor and Jennifer: Finding love while living with ALS

This Valentine’s Day, we would like to highlight Trevor and Jennifer’s story about finding love while living with ALS. – Trevor was my first love in high school. Although short term, the strong connection we had was never forgotten. We lost track of each other but reconnected again after 28 years on Facebook in 2015. […]

Living with ALS during the Holidays: the Peacock Family

When a friend or loved one is living with ALS, the holiday season can be a difficult time. This is certainly true for the Peacock family ever since husband and father Jeff was diagnosed with ALS three years ago. This year, Jeff won’t be able to decorate the tree, hand out gifts or enjoy dinner […]

ALS societies across Canada mourn the loss of Mauril Bélanger

Our hearts are heavy as we say good-bye to Mauril Bélanger, MP for Ottawa-Vanier. Diagnosed with ALS in late 2015, he partnered with the ALS Societies across Canada and took on the role of National Honorary Spokesperson for the 2016 WALK for ALS. As someone who spent much of his adult life in a role […]

June is ALS awareness month

Thirty remarkable days. Thirty inspirational stories. Thirty chances to seize the days. That’s what ALS awareness month is all about. From fundraising walks in communities across the country to breathtaking walks on the brink at Edgewalk around the top of the CN tower, this June we’re pushing the limits and challenging everyone to seize the […]

Love wins against ALS

1988. At the office. A young independent redhead grabs Jocelyn’s attention immediately. She emits a contagious “joie de vivre” that instantly seduces the young man. Chantal, on the other hand, was charmed by Jocelyn’s ability to listen and his sincere consideration for everyone around him. After almost 23 years of marriage and a daughter named Maya, their […]

The holidays will never be the same for John

Last Christmas I was playing hockey. Now I need help to stand up. John Hamm, diagnosed with ALS in 2014 One of John Hamm’s favourite holiday traditions is playing pond hockey with his three kids. But this year, he won’t be strapping on skates. This holiday season, John’s wife Cathy will bundle him up in […]

Today is Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday. On this very special day of giving from the heart, I hope you’ll give the most precious gift of all — the gift of hope. Right now, approximately 3,000 Canadians are living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) — a degenerative disease that quickly and progressively steals a person’s mobility, speech and […]

Thank you to everyone who took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge 2.0

Last month, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was re-ignited by the ALS Community. The team working at the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club have always supported the Community and the cause. Last month, they extended an invitation to ALS Canada to bring clients and their families and donors together to enjoy a game. We want to thank […]

ALS community challenges Canada to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge gave me back the voice that ALS was taking from me. It took my personal struggle and gave it validation and hope. We need to keep going to fund research so that one day ALS will be treatable, not terminal. I accept the passing of the bucket from co-founder Pat […]

Where your dollars went from the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Canada you made a difference! $17 million was raised through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 ‪ ALS Research: $11.5 million went to ALS research from ALS Societies across Canada We have seen a 70% INCREASE in grant applications through the ALS Canada Research Program By October 2015 $12.9 MILLION to be invested in […]