Up to the Challenge: The Hernandez Family

Ashley RosenbrockFaces of ALS, Foundation Blog, Home Page


Caring makes the difference. For Mario Hernandez, it starts with his daughters Jenny and Emily.

“My daughters are two angels that God gave me, to support me in this moment of what I’m going through right now,” says Mario. “I could not be more blessed… I’m very proud of them.”

Mario was diagnosed with ALS in 2020, but his family shifted to the Les Turner ALS Foundation and Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine in 2023. They’re glad they did.

“The support we felt right away told me that it was the right decision,” says Jenny.

“Karen Steffens is my nurse,” says Mario. “I love her so much. She’s always got a big smile. I was battling a couple of months ago with a lot of phlegm, and she had a bunch of different things to try.”

On Saturday, April 13, Mario and his family will be in attendance for the 36th annual Hope Through Caring Gala at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago, an unforgettable evening of hope, inspiration, and community. By attending the Hope Through Caring Gala, you’re making it possible to provide personalized care and support to families like theirs.

Jenny emphasizes, “the Foundation has assisted us in many ways. The opportunities they’ve provided us in terms of grants that are out there, thinking about the machines and tools that he needs. Access to resources, their website alone is super essential for me.”

Because with your support, the Hernandez family is up to the challenge.

“My dad is the life of the party,” says Emily. “He’s the big personality one, the one who’s always talking and very social. My sister is the leader, the boss I like to call her — she’s the one keeping everyone in line.”

Mario’s journey with ALS has deepened his faith.

“It’s a journey where I’ve learned a lot, but at the same time I learned that my God is real,” he says. “Because every day when I open my eyes I say, ‘thank you, thank you for giving me another day’.”

Don’t miss out! Advance registration closes on Monday, April 1 for one of the city’s most elegant and most prestigious black-tie optional events, with dinner, drinks, and live entertainment.

We’ll see you on Saturday, April 13 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago!

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