Happy New Year,
I want to take this time to share a little of my reason. My reason why I choose to stay so active and passionate about ALS. Before my daddy ‘ Richard Blume’ was diagnosed with ALS in 2009, I knew very little about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The awareness was not there, it simply did not exist. I started to research treatments for daddy.I went all the way back to the 70’s. I realized that not much had changed in the terms of research and treatment. I read many devastating stories of those that had passed from ALS. I felt the sorrow, the pain that the families felt. My daddy had sporadic ALS, the most common form of ALS. My daddy served during the Vietnam war. Vets are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS.
Awareness about a cause equals the needed funds for research. In 2009, the awareness was simply not there. ALS is considered a rare disease. Only thirty thousand people have ALS in the US at any given time. While the average survival time is 3 years, about twenty percent of people with ALS live five years, 10 percent will survive ten years and five percent will live 20 years or more. Progression is not always a straight line in an individual either.
In 2012, I moved from Newport Beach to my hometown Little Rock Arkansas. I wanted to physically be there for my family & spend moments with daddy. Little did I know that in just three and half years he would fly away to his eternal home. In July of 2012, my team and I created a fashion show that benefited the Arkansas ALS Association. The show was a tremendous hit and with over 150 in attendance we created awareness, & hope. We introduced ALS to many that had never heard of the disease.
In early 2013, the ALS In Wonderland Foundation was created. There were many programs to plan & implement. I wanted to focus on the ‘everyday needs’ for PALS. I talked to many PALS in Arkansas, my rock was my daddy whom carefully let me know as a person living with ALS what he felt was most needed. We attended many support groups. It was apparent that more needed to be done to help those with ALS. I wanted to create a benevolent non profit, there would be no salaries, no mortgage or rent for office space. 100% of the funds would stay in Arkansas and directly benefit those living with ALS.
Fast Forward to 2018. In just five years, the ALS In Wonderland Foundation, has assisted 80 PALS. 46 of those PALS have passed away. We have granted over $200,000 in financial grants. Until there is a cure, when there is no longer a need for us, we will be here to assist each family. ALS is not a individual disease, it’s a family disease. It affects each and every person that witnesses the horror of ALS. My reason is deeply personal, authentic as true love, my drive is indomitable, my passion is insurmountable. Along with our army of volunteers, board members and supporters we will be here planning, fundraising, creating everlasting friendships,and helping those diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Lara Blume McGee
Please join us in supporting ALS!
Donate Today, so we can continue to help ALS patients