This year, 440 people who were newly-diagnosed with ALS connected with the Chapter, representing more than one new family every day of the year, and gained access to our world-class wraparound model of care.
Our proven model of robust, proactive, multidisciplinary care, whether accessed online or in person, helps people live longer and better with ALS, while also accelerating the search for treatments and cures.
Our popular ASK ME educational webinar series featured experts on a variety of topics of interest to the ALS community. These webinars were viewed thousands of times through live broadcasts and on-demand via our social media channels.
The number of families facing ALS who seek Golden West Chapter services grows every year. In some regions, we are serving more than 100% of the predicted ALS population.
In 2021, the Golden West Chapter facilitated more grants and equipment loans than ever before to meet the needs of families facing ALS who require life sustaining and quality of life enhancing durable medical equipment and augmentative communication devices.
The Golden West Chapter conducted more than 30 support groups online every month and expanded offerings for targeted populations including LGBTQIA+, Spanish language speakers, trach/ventilator users, those diagnosed with familial ALS, veterans, families raising young children, bereaved families, and caregivers and loved ones groups.
The Golden West Chapter hosted regular meetings with our 31 ALS clinic partners, including eight Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence and Recognized Treatment Centers, to share ideas, collaborate, and seamlessly provide high quality multidisciplinary care via in-person and telehealth platforms.
More people with ALS facing financial or transportation challenges were able to access resources because of the Golden West Chapter’s expansion of the ability to connect virtually with clinical teams and care managers.
The Chapter convened its first Advisory Group comprised of people living with ALS and family members. The group’s primary purpose is to convey feedback about programs and services and to inform ideas for enhancements and improvements.
The State of California renewed its multi-year funding for the Golden West Chapter's evidence-based wraparound model of care that helps people live longer and better with ALS, while also advancing the search for effective treatments and cures. The genesis of this important public policy initiative began more than 15 years ago and was made possible through the vision and steadfast effort of dedicated Golden West Chapter ALS advocates, staff, and supporters.
Hundreds of ALS advocates and organizations, including the Golden West Chapter, advocated for the enactment of the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies (ACT) for ALS, legislation that supports access to experimental treatments and provides the FDA with additional research capacity and public-private partnerships to speed development and approval of new treatments. This historic act was signed into law by President Biden on Thursday, December 23, 2021.
EMPOWERING COMMUNITY AND INSPIRING ACTION
Each year, the Chapter hosts numerous community outreach events to provide an opportunity for anyone touched by this devastating disease to gather, share, and connect with others. Our family-friendly activities – like our Walks to Defeat ALS, Rides to Defeat ALS, ALS Golf Classic, and Champions for Cures and Care celebration – empower the ALS community and inspire others to create a world without ALS.
Find out more about how your participation helps raise awareness and funding to ensure that the Golden West Chapter is able to provide programs and resources for the families facing ALS that we serve in California and Hawaii.
In 2021, Kevin Heller, Team Captain of #GiveEmHeller of the Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS, was selected to receive one of the four National ALS Association Hero Awards—the highest honor given by The ALS Association and its 39 Chapters. People living with, or who have lived with ALS, and made a significant impact in the fight against ALS are presented with this award.
The ALS community and Major League Baseball hit a home run with the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day. In stadiums across the nation, teams offered people living with ALS and their families special game day experiences. This day would not have been possible without the hard work of members of the Lou Gehrig Day Committee who were determined to make this day a success. The Golden West Chapter was honored to participate in events with the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.
In 2021, the ALS community showed its “Never Give Up” spirit as 11 Walk communities throughout California and Hawaii joined together online for the Golden West Chapter Walk to Defeat ALS.
Our Rides to Defeat ALS in Napa Valley and SoCal also were held online. Many Walk and Ride participants also held small community gatherings in support of these annual community outreach events.
The Golden West Chapter hosted one event in-person, the Petersen International Underwriters ALS Golf Classic on a beautiful day in December at the Valencia Country Club.
Inspired by our ALS community, we organized many engagement activities and special events including a movie night about the beloved San Francisco University High School coach Jim Tracy who inspired the annual 5K event in his name, the first ever Walk to Defeat ALS tshirt contest, our online ALS Day of Remembrance, and Rocking Out ALS, a new music event featuring artists from around the globe.
YOU MAKE ALL OF THIS POSSIBLE — THANK YOU!
The generosity of individuals, families, companies, foundations, and philanthropic organizations makes what we do possible.
We are extremely grateful to all of our donors, those who make multi-year, major gift commitments through our Campaign for Cures and Care; those who make monthly contributions and participate in workplace giving and matching gift programs; our champions who establish Community of Hope tribute webpages; family grantmakers and foundation partners; members of our Legacy Society who have designated the Chapter as a beneficiary in their estate plan; people who donate in kind items, equipment, and wheelchair-accessible vehicles; and EVERYONE who makes a thoughtful gift because they care throughout the year. It is your steadfast commitment that powers our programs and services and provides help and hope to the ALS community.