The CEO Soak was started in Pittsburgh in 2017 when a local executive had the idea of raising money for ALS by asking other executives to stand in a fountain with their business attire on. In 2019 I participated for the first time as the newly appointed Executive Director of the ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter. I immediately understood the value that this event had and what it could do to raise money to support people living with ALS. Today I am in a new role at the Association overseeing our fundraising nationwide. One of the best parts of this new role is that I have helped spread the event to other markets. Close to twenty other cities will participate this year alone! I do this because ALS is what some call the worst disease.
If you don't know, ALS is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that slowly prevents the brain from sending signals to the muscles. It is a devastating condition that robs individuals of their ability to walk, talk, and eventually breathe. The average person lives with ALS for just two to five years. There are no known cures and limited treatments.
For those who know me, you know that I have worked for a handful of different health non-profits throughout my career. I have been honored to serve all my past organizations and each has done a great deal to help people impacted by a particular condition or disease. That being said, let me tell you why the ALS Association stands out from the rest.
1) The organization provides patient education opportunities to help people living with ALS and their caregivers navigate this complicated disease. Education comes in the form of online and print materials in addition to support groups and symposiums. For many, we help formulate the roadmap to navigate the ALS journey.
2) After the U.S. government, the ALS Association is the largest funder of ALS research in the world! Thanks to generous donors, we are able to spend $15-$20 million a year to help push forward the development of new treatments and understandings that will one day lead to a cure.
3) Each local chapter plays a direct role in providing care to those diagnosed with ALS. We provide funding and access to a wide range of medical professionals (and ALS requires many) through local hospitals and when appropriate in-home care. Additionally, because ALS is a progressive disease, we loan out thousands of pieces of equipment to keep people in their homes. Our loan closet has everything from bath benches to electric wheelchairs.
All of these services are free to anyone who needs support.
As you can see, we are more than an organization that is driving policy and guiding progress in the fight against ALS. We are embedded in our local community playing a role in the daily care of those we serve.
Please consider making a donation to ensure that we can continue to help those who need our assistance now more than ever.