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Dawn and Niall Foley, ALS advocates

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In 2015, we never expected to hear the words, "Yes, it is ALS. Get your affairs in order.” That moment changed the path of our lives. But with Niall’s 30 years of service as a Glendale firefighter, one of the most important lessons that we have learned is how to react when life throws something unexpected your way.

We have always drawn inspiration from the poem, “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis which refers to the little line that comes between the dates of a person’s birth and death, “What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.”

We know this journey would not be possible to navigate without the love and support of our family, our fire family, our friends, the incredible ALS community, and the Golden West Chapter. After we connected with the Chapter and started attending our support group every month, we learned that everyone has a different experience with this disease. We vowed to make a positive difference and to dedicate ourselves to fuel the Chapter’s mission and vision.

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In 2017, we organized a community cycling event to raise ALS awareness and funds; that event has become the Chapter’s SoCal Ride to Defeat ALS and Run/Hike/Walk! Our event’s success is driven by people like YOU - who take action and ask others to join us in supporting research, advocacy, and care services for people with ALS and their families. The ALS community, those who are facing ALS now and in the future, will benefit from our efforts!

May is ALS Awareness Month and we invite you to show your support of the ALS community by registering at Please join us throughout the day on Saturday, May 15.  Our “Zoom Start Line” begins at 8:30 AM PDT with opening ceremonies. At 1:45 PM PDT we will meet again on Zoom for a special awards ceremony and “After Party” concert, featuring our dear friend and master guitarist, Carlos Calvo. It’s a spectacular treat you won’t want to miss!

This year marks 29 years that we have been married and six years that we have been fighting ALS. Please remember to live for today and cherish the relationships that you have.

We look forward to seeing you and celebrating very special moments on Saturday, May 15!


Dawn Foley, ALS Advocate, and Niall Foley, Board Member
Co-Chairs, SoCal Ride to Defeat ALS and Run/Hike/Walk
The Foleys in Team “Fighting For Foley