Support Groups & Education
The Foundation provides several opportunities for people living with ALS and their families, and those who have lost someone to ALS, to come together, offering support to each other and receiving the professional guidance of the Foundation’s ALS Support Services Coordinators.
You Are Not Alone
Many people find a peer support group to be a safe space to help navigate and manage the difficulties in their lives. Faced with similar challenges, participants of support groups understand, on a deeper level, what other members are feeling and experiencing without the need for explanation. A support group can help its members cope better and feel less isolated as they are surrounded by others who are undergoing a similar situation. Group members typically share their personal experiences and offer one another emotional comfort and moral support. Support group leaders are present to offer guidance and disease education as well as encouraging conversations to continue in a direction that is of interest and benefit to the entire group.
The Foundation has formed its support groups to offer people and families living with ALS, and those who have lost someone to ALS, a support system outside their immediate circle, to make connections with others and offer a place for members to gain additional emotional support and practical guidance for their situation.
Online Support Groups
Support group meetings are open to people living with ALS, family members, caregivers and friends, and those who have lost someone to ALS.
We look forward to hearing from you.
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The Jill and Dennis Smith ALS Education and Awareness Fund
Even as he battled ALS, Dennis Smith of Bourbonnais, Illinois, was described by family members as “a man of keen intellect, gentle humor and extraordinary character.” As the disease progressed and Dennis lost his ability to speak, he was introduced to the Les Turner ALS Foundation which provided him an augmentative communication device, enabling him to continue communicating with family and friends. In 2007, at the age of 56, Dennis lost his life to ALS.
Shortly before Dennis’ death, his wife Jill, and extended family members created The Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation, raising money for the Foundation through their annual golf outing, “The Denny” to show their gratitude for the care and services they received during Dennis' life.
After Jill passed away in 2014, the Foundation became a grateful beneficiary of the Jill and Dennis Smith ALS Education and Awareness Fund. Thanks to Jill and Dennis’ desire to create a legacy, their generosity will support the Foundation’s Education and Awareness Programs, including professional development in the field of ALS, patient and family education and public awareness, for years to come.