Facts about ALS
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrigs disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that hinders and then eventually destroys the communication between nerves and voluntary muscles. This causes a lack of communication from the brain to the voluntary muscles, such as the limbs, torso and face, rendering them useless. It does not affect the involuntary muscles such as the heart, lungs and those in the digestive system. People affected with ALS experience progressive paralysis throughout the body. Over half the people afflicted with ALS will die within 3 years of the diagnosis.
Please give the gift of a quilt to warm the life, the heart and the lap of an ALS patient, and help raise awareness and research money for ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease. To be a part of the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge - Simply fill out your entry form and donate your quilts today.
Your donated quilts will be given to ALS patients or used to raise awareness and research money for ALS by being photographed, displayed, auctioned, or raffled.
In addition to contributing your quilt to a wonderful cause - ALL donated quilts are eligible to win exciting and wonderful prizes. Our list of generous sponsors, categories and great prizes is growing!
Hopes & Dreams is a non-juried quilt challenge. All donated quilts will be entered into general prize drawings plus there are incredible prizes recognizing the most generous quilter, quilt shop, professional quilter and guild. Special prize categories for theme quilts and 'most popular' quilts.
For the comfort of the patient, we request that quilted or tied quilts be a minimum of 35" x 44". Lap and Bed size quilts of all sizes are welcomed. We look forward to you joining us in this unique quilting event - the Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.
At the age of 32, my wonderful son, Josh, was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). In two years, the disease has taken Josh from a strong, happy, athletic young husband and new father to being completely paralyzed – unable to eat, speak, or move. He is on life support. To say his diagnosis and this experience have been devastating is a true understatement. It was shocking to learn that a disease that was discovered well over 100 years ago has absolutely no treatment or help available. Scientists still do not know the cause and do not understand the cascade of damage.
At first we thought ALS was rare, but it is the most common neurological disorder. Every 90 minutes an America is diagnosed with ALS, and every 90 minutes an American dies of ALS. Complete paralysis (referred to as a “Glass Coffin”) and death are so rapid that the there is very little interest in research for ALS – as it is not deemed profitable. Most ALS patients become paralyzed and die within 6 months to 5 years of being diagnosed. For an unknown reason, more and more young people are getting ALS. The US military has also been particularly hard hit and ALS is now considered part of the Gulf War Syndrome. Today there is an estimate 35,000 to 50,000+ Americans living and dying from ALS.
Still reeling from the shock and desperation of my son’s diagnosis and the terrible losses and heartbreak that he has experienced, our family decided that the best way we can honor Josh and other devastated families is to help raise awareness, help raise money for research, and reach out to help underserved ALS patients.
Sponsoring a quilt donation program and quilt contest is something I feel very strongly about. When I contacted the Virginia director of the ALS Association, she was thrilled (coincidentally she is an avid quilter!) We are hopeful that the “Hopes and Dreams Quilt Challenge” will soon be an important annual event in an effort to help raise awareness, warm the hearts and laps of suffering and forgotten ALS patients, and raise research money along the way.
Kathy Thompson (Josh’s Mom)
You can read more about Josh’s fight in a NY Times article by visiting: http://www.nytimes.com/
To see pictures of Josh Thompson and this year's JT Walk for ALS, please visit http://www.JTWalk.org