In addition to the physical and emotional toll faced by people impacted by ALS, the financial strain of the disease can devastate a family’s ability to plan for future expenses. Families impacted by ALS often do not have the financial means to support the pursuit of college degrees or vocational certificates.
Recognizing this unmet need, The ALS Association and Mark Calmes, vice chair of the Association's National Board of Trustees, established The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund in honor of Mark's wife, Jane, who lost her battle with ALS in 2017.
The purpose of the scholarship fund is to provide financial assistance to students pursuing an accredited college degree or vocational certificate, and whose ability to cover the costs is severely compromised as a result of their family’s financial burden of ALS.*
To be considered for The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund, an applicant must be:
The ALS Association’s goal is to fund at least 30 students per year, at $2,500 per semester or $5,000 per year.
Awards will be renewable up to three years or until a bachelor's degree is earned or graduation is achieved, whichever occurs first, based on satisfactory academic performance.
Learn More About Jane Calmes
Jane Calmes was born in Coffeyville, Kansas, and spent her youth in Neodesha, Kansas. She attended Kansas University and later graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wichita State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science/Dental Hygiene. Jane was an accomplished dental hygienist and loved working with the public, all the while providing a necessary service with gentle thoroughness, for which she was noted. She married Mark Calmes in 1980 and together they had four children. Jane was also an ALS hero, having fought the disease for eight years through pure grit and determination. The family formed a very successful Walk to Defeat ALS team in her honor named Jane’s Angels. The team is now in its 10th year. Jane passed away peacefully at home on August 16, 2017, in the arms of her husband and surrounded by her loving family.
A Note from Mark Calmes
Jane was a fighter. She battled three major illnesses in a row - a silent heart attack, breast cancer, and finally, ALS. Every day she amazed me, especially with the courage she exhibited dealing with disease and the compassion she showed our family and others during her journey.
After Jane’s death, I began to think of ways to honor her and her courageous battle with disease, especially ALS. The idea of a scholarship fund resonated with me. Jane was always keen on education and the lifelong benefits it can provide. She insisted on our four kids getting a college education, and she volunteered at an after-school program with our church. So, as I thought about all of this, coupled with the fact that children of families dealing or having dealt with ALS are overlooked and are collateral damage to the disease, it made perfect sense to help these kids. This collateral damage, which can affect and negatively impact children for a lifetime, needed to be addressed.
*The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund is administered through Scholarship America.