Hope For ALS Families Returns
Nonprofit that supports children and young adults affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease returns with FREE WEEKEND CAMPS in SIX STATES
Pennington, NJ – 29 March 2022 – Children and young adults who had or have a loved one battling ALS, as well as their families, are invited to attend Camp HLC this year in New Jersey (May 13-15), Indiana (June 19-24), Massachusetts (August 12-14), Illinois (September 16-18), Georgia (October 14-16) and California (November 18-20). A Virtual Camp will also take place via Zoom July 15-17. Hope Loves Company (HLC) is accepting registration for all six camps at www.hopelovescompany.org/camp-hlc.
Camp HLC is a free weekend retreat for children and their families that have been affected by ALS. It offers many fun experiences - swimming, fishing, hiking, ropes courses, archery, boating, arts and crafts, music, and more! Counselors attend to facilitate Camp HLC “group shares,” or community groups, and are available for children who wish to seek additional support throughout the weekend. Campers will participate in activities that promote wellness and the development of healthy coping skills, such as yoga, art and music therapy. Even more important, children, teens, young adults, and family members attending will have the opportunity to form connections and build friendships with peers who share in their experiences and thus, feel less alone in their challenges.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects approximately 30,000 Americans. Currently, there is no known cause or cure and the disease is fatal. It is estimated that 85% of ALS patients have a child or grandchild. These children are often the primary caregivers for their loved ones with ALS: bathing, dressing, feeding, and caring for them. As a result, these young caregivers face several challenges as they struggle to balance their various day-to-day responsibilities.
A parent who attended Camp HLC in California said, “To realize that you are not alone in your journey with ALS is so helpful. It doesn’t matter what stage of the journey you are in, there is always someone who understands.” A 14-year-old Chicago camper said, “Camp HLC helped me because I was surrounded with people who knew what I was going through. It may help others because it shows they are not alone.”
HOPE LOVES COMPANY, Inc. is the only non-profit and 501c (3) in the United States with the specific goal of providing both emotional and educational support to children and young adults who have or had a loved one battling ALS. Camp HLC is their premier program. Titusville, New Jersey resident and founder of HLC, Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, lost her husband to ALS in 2001, so she knows from personal experience how ALS affects a family, especially children. Since founding HLC in 2012, Jodi and her team have hosted 37 camps for families affected by ALS from across the country, all for no cost.
To register for Camp HLC or to learn more about Hope Loves Company’s other free programs for families affected by ALS, visit www.hopelovescompany.org, call 609-730-1144, or find us on social media. Facebook and Instagram: @hopelovescompany, Twitter: @hopelovesco.