My Mom was diagnosed with ALS in the spring of my sophomore year in high school. My Mom died when I was 19, during the fall semester of my freshman year in college. ALS is a terminal disease that has no cure and no real treatment options. Over the last 10 years, there has been some progress, but not nearly enough- ALS remains a devastating and heartbreaking terminal disease. Before ALS took my Mom, it took her energy, ability to speak, ability to eat, and significiantly diminished her ability to move.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to always have support from my best friends- back then and now. But A LOT of teenagers and young adults feel like they can’t open up about their terminally ill parent or that they don’t have anyone to turn to about this disease. Then once the parent or loved one dies, we are taught that we need to hide our grief or that it should be less/over by a certain time. There is no end date for grieving. I’ll be blunt- I can tell my friends about the progression of my Mom's disease and how heartbreaking it was to watch, but unless you have seen it first hand everyday, you can’t fully ever get it. The camps put on by this organization provides that connection and support the children, teens, and young adults need. Hope Loves Company provides a little bit of hope in the darkness that is ALS.