Susan Mast ALS Foundation – October 2019
Susan Mast ALS Foundation supports ALS patients, their families and caregivers living in West Michigan. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, for which there is currently no cure or treatment. The disease causes muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing, and usually results in total paralysis. To assist patients as they lose their ability to speak, the foundation recently created a program called “Jim’s Voice.” Through a process known as “voice banking,” patients preserve messages and speech in their own words, which allows them to use assistive devices to continue communication as the disease progresses.
“We have all the tools for the program, but we do not have a speech pathologist to implement the program,” says Julie Snelling, Executive Director of the Susan Mast ALS Foundation. “Using this donation to fill that need will be amazing and life changing for West Michigan ALS families.”
The Susan Mast ALS Foundation currently assists 90 ALS families and has assisted more than 150 since opening its doors in 2016. Before the Susan Mast ALS Foundation was established, ALS families in West Michigan had minimal assistance with this expensive and devastating disease. The foundation has worked to change that with programs that provide respite care, loans of durable medical equipment, support groups, transportation assistance, caregiver training, financial support, meals for ALS families and more.
For more information on the Susan Mast ALS Foundation, visit www.susanmastals.org.