Dean Stock with his wife Paula, kids: Luke,Grace and Sophie. Dean was diagnosed with ALS in December 2014 and as a family, they decided to help raise awareness and funds by taking part in the Society’s first PSA
Last August, social media blew up with the ALS ice bucket challenge. “Never before had ALS received so much media coverage, nor had that many people talked about the disease.”
But that was last August. This year, only social media silence.
ALS did not disappear into your Facebook archive like the Ice Bucket Challenge video you posted a year ago. ALS is still a fatal disease. Most will die 2 to 5 years from first experiencing symptoms. There is no warning, and there is currently no treatment. Those living with ALS face unimaginable challenges as they become prisoners in their own body, frozen while their bodies melt away.
The Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014 brought exceptional donations. 79,000 Quebecers raised more than $2.66 million in donations. Of the donations, 70% were used for ALS Canada’s Research Program, and 30% to improve the services available to Quebecers with ALS.
Further, ALS Quebec has launched two programs to help those living with ALS: respite financial aid and the children of parents with ALS.
Living with ALS is beyond difficult for everyone involved. Family members and friends must learn to care for those suffering, taking on their own challenges to survive. ALS Quebec hopes to help alleviate some of the burden through a respite financial aid program. “Members of the ALS Society of Quebec will be eligible to receive up to $1,500 annually, to reimburse the expenses for respite care,” ALS Quebec shares.
“The second new financial support program will help fund extra-curricular activities for children of people diagnosed with ALS.” Parents living with ALS live with the burden that their children may not be able to participate in normal childhood activities. “The program will provide up to $300 a year, per child,” ALSO Quebec notes. The program aims to promote healthy development of children, despite their everyday burdens.
The ALS Society of Quebec has been working to support Quebecers living with ALS since 1983. The non-profit organization funds research and raises awareness year-round.But ALS Quebec cannot singlehandedly help everyone.
This August, ALS Quebec wants you to revive the icy wave. They want “to renew an interest for the Challenge and for the cause,” in order to increase awareness and donations. Go back outside to recapture your icy splash for an important cause. Upload your video to social media, send ALS Quebec your donations, and urge your friends to follow your lead. A few moments of your time will raise priceless awareness for those in need.
ALS is a fatal disease that takes 120,000 new victims worldwide each year. All that ALS Quebec asks is that we raise awareness once a year. This August, let’s revisit the Ice Bucket Challenge. Let’s try to understand the challenges those living with ALS face every day. Icy water is a 10 second unpleasant experience for us, but ALS is an incurable experience for them. Together we can provide support through discussion and donations. Together we can find a cure.
Learn more about the disease and how to help at als-quebec.ca.