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Everything we do at The ALS Association Golden West Chapter — from care services to research to advocacy — advances the search for effective treatments and cures for ALS. Dedicated people, like you, make our successes possible because you invest in our mission and share our vision — to create a world without ALS. Your investments in research, care services, and advocacy have brought the ALS community closer than ever to discovering effective treatments and cures for ALS. With your help, we have turned hope into action and collaboration into results and we are grateful for your support. Here are a few 2019 highlights, made possible by you:

2019 Year in Review - Photo Wheel

Measuring Milestones 

This year marked many important milestones for The ALS Association Golden
West Chapter and the ALS community.


From the first-ever Dwight Clark Training Camp Day with the San Francisco 49ers to the record-breaking 15th Annual Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS, supporters of the Golden West Chapter worked to raise awareness and support for people with ALS and their families.  

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  • For the seventh consecutive year, Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator, has awarded the Golden West Chapter its highest rating. Only 6% of rated organizations receive this exceptional distinction.

  • More than 450 new people with ALS connected with the Golden West Chapterat least one new family every day touched by this devastating diagnosis — to gain access to our world-class wraparound model of care which includes: professional care management services, multidisciplinary ALS clinical care at more than 26 clinics and centers of excellence, clinical trials, monthly support groups, educational programs, equipment loans, community outreach events, and the opportunity to participate in advocacy and awareness activities.

  • There are more ALS clinical trials than ever before across the U.S. As of November 2019, there were 63 interventional and/or observational research projects with 13 of them in California.

  • The Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS celebrated 15 years and a total of $8.4 million raised during its history in support of the ALS community.

  • We marked the five-year anniversary of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which tripled the funds The ALS Association spends on the most promising ALS research worldwide, and led to the discovery of five new genes. The ALS Association currently funds more than 150 active research projects and nine global collaborations.

  • Sadly, together we’ve mourned the deaths of more than 250 people with ALS, including legendary surfer, Mike Doyle; notable mental health and ALS advocate, Rusty Selix; neuroscientist and ALS researcher, Dr. Rahul Desikan; rock musician Kim Shattuck; poet and inspirational speaker, Ryan Farnsworth; respected hand surgeon, Dr. Steve Avon; and beloved, purple-bearded teacher and activist, Devin Ward.


Making History Together

Our “Never Give Up” spirit is driven by a commitment to honor all ALS heroes and caregivers in every community. Your support has helped us create and fund new opportunities for the ALS community to include:

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In 2019, our partners in clinical care and legistlature as well as many community supporters all helped to expand the Chapter's impact on the fight against ALS. 

  • Providing comprehensive and compassionate care services, free-of-charge, to more than 1,800 people living with ALS and their loved ones in California and Hawaii, making the Golden West Chapter one of the largest service organizations for the ALS community in the country. This included 226 support group meetings,774 home visits, more than 8600 augmentative alternative communication (AAC) and durable medical equipment (DME) requests, and over 25,000 engagements between the families we serve and Chapter care management professionals.

  • Increasing access to care management services and loans of vital equipment as well as additional support for caregivers and young people impacted by a loved one’s ALS diagnosis. 

  • Launching new ALS clinics and centers in underserved communities, throughout our service area.

  • Fostering innovations in the areas of biomarkers, gene therapy, and more from new generations of scientists.

  • Promoting important public policy initiatives on behalf of the ALS community, including improved access to treatments, home health care, and equipment; increased federal funding to advance ALS research; review of the Food and Drug Administration final ALS Drug Development Guidance; and eliminating the five-month wait for Social Security Disability Insurance.

  • Stewarding financial support from the State of California for our wraparound model of care, as well as funding for our programs from the City and County of Honolulu and the County of Hawaii.

  • Hosting over 33 community outreach events throughout our service area, with over 8200 participants, to raise awareness and funding, and to bring together the ALS community.


Looking Forward with 2020 Vision

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For 2020, the Golden West Chapter is focused on our mission priorities and our shared vision - to create a world without ALS.

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Your continued support of the Chapter and our interdependent mission priorities will drive discovery for effective treatments and cures for ALS by helping us to do the following:

  • Expand our partnerships with many of the world’s leading clinicians and scientists in the field including those affiliated with the California ALS Research Network, the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) and Western ALS Consortium (WALS). 

  • Launch and support new ALS Association Certified and Recognized Treatment Centers of Excellence in our service area.

  • Explore new programs and partnerships to include: telehealth consultations for AAC assessments; Google’s Project Euphonia, which focuses on using voice recognition software and adaptive communication; and ESRI technology for resource mapping and research purposes.


You make all of this possible –
Thank you!

Thanks to your generosity and commitment, we have accomplished so much together. With your continued support, we can do so much more.

It is only together that we will defeat ALS.