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Support Groups

Persons living with ALS, their family members, friends and caregivers are welcome to attend the support groups. The groups are an opportunity to meet others, learn about new information and resources, and provide or receive support and encouragement. Guest speakers attend some of our supports groups, and talk about their area of expertise as it relates to individuals living with ALS. 

RSVPs are highly recommended. You may RSVP through our Calendar of Events or by contacting a member of the Care Services Team. For more information, contact your Care Services Coordinator or the Chapter team member listed with each group below.

COVID-19 Update: Until further notice, all support groups will be held virtually-only.  Please find video conferencing information below and thank you for your understanding.

General Groups:

Central Illinois:
Second Thursday | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/913836735
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 913836735
For more information or to RSVP: kellie@alsachicago.org

Champaign:
Second Monday | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/280862102
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 280862102
For more information or to RSVP: kellie@alsachicago.org

Chicagoland:
Third Saturday | 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/422596742
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 422596742
For more information or to RSVP: audrey@alsachicago.org

Northern Illinois:
Fourth Tuesday | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/4334639988
Call-In: 646-558-8656, Meeting ID: 4334639988
For more information or to RSVP: peggy@alsachicago.org

Northwest Suburbs:
Second Saturday | 10:30 am - 12:00 pm 
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/4334639988
Call-In: 646-558-8656, Meeting ID: 4334639988
For more information or to RSVP: peggy@alsachicago.org

Quad Cities:
RSVP Required, Hosted by Iowa Chapter 
Second Tuesday | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Contact Kellie for more information:
kellie@alsachicago.org

Southwest Suburbs:
First Thursday | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/495362901
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 495362901
For more information or to RSVP: gema@alsachicago.org

 

Specialized Groups:

Always Loved & Supported Bereavement Support Group:
This is a specialized program to support those who have lost a loved one to ALS. The focus will be on helping those bereaved to cope with their loneliness, how to understand their new roles, and healing ways to manage their emotional pain. For questions regarding the program, please reach out to Jennifer Beckman, LCSW, CSW-G, 309-261-7052 or jennifer@alsachicago.org.

Third Wednesday | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/84153441808 
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 841 5344 1808

Familial ALS Positive Support Group:
Most of the time ALS is not inherited. About 10% of cases is inherited and is considered “Familial ALS” (FALS). Due to the uniqueness of FALS, feeling understood may be difficult. This group was developed for people who share these experiences:

  • You have tested positive for the genetic mutation
  • You think you may be a carrier of the ALS gene but have not been tested
  • You have FALS with symptoms and family members who worry for themselves

This group will provide compassion and acceptance, education, give individuals the opportunity to learn from each other, and open the way for social and intellectual interaction between affected individuals, guest speakers, and identified resources. For questions regarding the program, please reach out to Joumana Baroody, RN, BSN, at 312-931-7127 or joumana@alsachicago.org.

Second Monday | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/88488955633
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 884 8895 5633
Password: 523089

Spanish Language Support Group:
Fourth Saturday | 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/82832198966
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 828 3219 8966, Password: 892819
For more information or to RSVP: joumana@alsachicago.org | 312-931-7127

Grupo de apoyo virtual en Espanol:
Cada cuarto sábado del mes. Horario: 10:30-12:00
Unirse con audio y vídeo desde una computadora, tableta o teléfono: zoom.us/j/82832198966
Para unirse a este grupo por teléfono con audio solamente: 312-626-6799, ID para la reunión : 82832198966, Clave: 892819
Para obtener más información o para RSVP: joumana@alsachicago.org | 312-931-7127

Together is Better Caregiver Support Group:
A virtual group for current and past ALS caregivers specially designed to address the unique needs of those caring for someone with ALS. The purpose of this group is for sharing information, insight, advice and encouragement in a safe space. For questions regarding the program, please reach out to Kellie Branch-Dircks, MSW, LCSW, at 309-696-7184 or kellie@alsachicago.org.

Second Wednesday | 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Video Call-In: zoom.us/j/84843146208
Call-In: 312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 848 4314 6208

Go to Calendar

“The monthly meetings are a good way to meet people facing the same challenges. At the group, you gain real-life answers to questions you have or problems to solve. It helps to hear other's perspectives on the dilemma, ALS, you are all facing. Meeting in person helps you to see, physically, the progression of the disease and to prepare you for what may come. You feel like you are part of a team (that you never wanted to be on) that offers insight, often to things you haven't thought of. The encouragement all around is so needed! It provides an opportunity to let the tears flow and to laugh the absurdities!

As a patient (PALS) and caregivers (CALS), we are so grateful to the ALS Association and the services they are providing to us at a very difficult time.”

-Ginny Stocker, Jan DeForge, and Joni Long; Support Group Members