As each case of ALS is different, our members and their needs are unique. Thanks to their feedback, we can adapt our programs and services to their reality. This information is essential in order to provide them with personalized support where and when they need it most.
While visiting family in Peru, Rosa Gamarra de Leyva’s health quickly deteriorated. Living with ALS, Rosa, age 85, was no longer able to walk. Rosa’s granddaughter Mabel flew down to Peru to bring her home to Montreal.
“It was a very emotional time. I was so grateful to speak ‘face-to-face’ by Skype with Leigh Stephens, psychosocial counsellor at the ALS Society of Quebec, even though I was very far away. She was so very, very helpful. It was like speaking with a friend. Leigh gave me a to-do list that got me acting rather than leaving me stuck in indecision. She even helped arrange our flight back. I couldn’t have done it without her guidance and support.”
– Mabel Palomino, caregiver, Montreal
Residential Adaptation Program
When Pierre Michaud was diagnosed with ALS in July 2016, he quickly needed some help from the ALS Society of Quebec to ensure his safety and independence at home.
“Right now, my condition has stabilized, but I’m unsteady on my feet. To prevent a fall, the Society helped pay for a stair railing installed on my home in Gatineau. The Society’s Technical Aid and Financial Assistance Program also supplied a medical alert system. If I fall, I just need to press a button to call for help. It is a huge relief to know that, as the disease progresses, the Society will be there to support my wife and me.”
-Pierre Michaud, ALS patient, Gatineau
For the last eight years, Jean Morisset, PhD, Associate Professor of gastroenterology at Université de Sherbrooke, has been taking care of his wife Claudine, who is living with ALS. He managed to go on a trip for the first time since then, thanks to the ALS Society’s respite program.
“I really appreciate the Society’s respite program. It helped me hire two caregivers to stay with my wife while I attended a medical conference in Poland last year. Claudine was very happy with the round-the-clock care. Meantime, I was relieved to know she was in good hands while I was away. The Pilot Program is a really terrific service. It gives caregivers a chance to change their daily routine, rest and reenergize. Claudine and I are very grateful.”
– Jean Morisset, caregiver, Sherbooke.
Living with ALS for a few months now, Gilles Durand regularly takes part in support groups offered by the Society in his area, in the Montérégie. These encounters give him the boost he needs to go through this ordeal.
“It allows me to find answers to my questions, my fears and my distress with psychosocial counsellors who are listening to me. I get to meet people like me, living with ALS, who really understand how I feel since some of them are in more advanced stages of the disease. Participating in this group makes me feel less isolated, I get answers, comfort and encouragement. It gives me energy that helps me get through some steps a little easier.’’
-Gilles Durand, ALS patient, Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu