Meet Riley, Cody, Jordyn, and Nathan!
Every May during ALS Awareness Month, The ALS Association and the Golden West Chapter celebrate ALS Youth Action Day to engage kids, teenagers, and young adults directly in the fight against ALS. Young supporters can take the ALS Youth Challenge to raise awareness and funds for the fight against ALS, and to spread hope and inspire others to envision a world without ALS.
Our goal is to empower young people directly affected by ALS to get involved as well as recruit others to join them in support of the ALS community. Here are a few examples of the creative and impactful work of young supporters of the Golden West Chapter!
Twelve-year-old Riley wanted to support a great cause. Riley’s father, who is a doctor, knew multiple people who had lived with ALS. When he told Riley that there are no cures for ALS, she decided to support the Golden West Chapter. Riley grew 30 tomato plants from seed. In just twenty minutes, Riley sold all of her plants - raising $300! No matter how small - every seed, and every young person, can make a difference in supporting the ALS community!
Cody’s involvement with the Walk to Defeat ALS® began in 2015 at the age of eight, when he was assigned to research an American Hero for a school project and chose to learn about Lou Gehrig. Since then, Cody has become involved with the Walk and our baseball ALS awareness days and has demonstrated a passionate commitment to fundraising for our ALS community. Through his written appeals to the Blair Foundation for grants, paired with his local community outreach fundraising, Cody and his Walk team have collectively raised close to $45,000 to date, to benefit the Golden West Chapter. Cody was honored by the Chapter in 2018 for his work as a Youth Ambassador.
We’re thankful to Jordyn, an enthusiastic member of Team Reeves, for her ongoing support of her aunt, Katrina, who has the familial form of ALS. Hereditary cases of ALS make up about 10% of all observed ALS cases and have a 50% chance of being inherited by offspring from a parent carrying the gene. Team Reeves has collectively raised over $35,000 in support of Chapter services through their participation at the Golden West Chapter’s Walk to Defeat ALS.
Nathan’s activism for the ALS community began when his father, Lenny, was diagnosed with ALS in 2007. His family registered for the free care services provided by the Golden West Chapter and attended a Chapter-sponsored satellite multidisciplinary clinic. Throughout high school, Nathan was involved with many community outreach, awareness, and advocacy events along with his family. Sadly, he lost his dad in 2016. After several years, Nathan found he still had the desire to help others facing ALS in any way he could. In 2020, on his dad’s birthday, he came across the opportunity to intern with the Chapter. For the past eight months, he has taken his support of the ALS community even further through his contributions to many marketing and communications projects for the Chapter. He is so proud to honor the memory of his dad’s “Never Give Up” spirit and is grateful to the community for rallying together in support of families, like his, who are facing this devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Our deepest gratitude to Riley, Cody, Jordyn, and Nathan for their trailblazing efforts in support of those affected by ALS. We invite you to participate by getting your kids involved in the fight against ALS. Help your child make a video or photo doing one of our Youth Action Day activities and share them online to help raise funds and awareness. Connect your child’s ALS Youth Challenge to your Walk to Defeat ALS or Ride to Defeat ALS efforts, or set it up as a standalone fundraiser via our One Dollar Difference platform.
The ALS Youth Challenge can empower young people directly affected by ALS as well as recruit others into the fight. Take action today and help raise awareness and support for the ALS community!