WHAT THEY DO:
Since being founded in 1980, the ALS Society of Manitoba has helped people live with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It provides information and support and operates the Brummitt-Feasby ALS House, where people with ALS can go for 24-hour care or respite.
HOPES FOR THE HOLIDAYS:
Something as simple as supporting the lighting of a Christmas light can help people living with a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease.
And this year, it won't blow a fuse.
Brian Campbell, of the ALS Society of Manitoba, said they're hoping to get plenty of donations for its annual Lite Up A Life fundraiser.
Campbell said the fundraiser provides needed funds to help operate the organization's Brummitt-Feasby ALS House. All money raised goes to the house, because Lacoste Garden Centre is donating 12 Christmas trees while Manitoba Hydro is donating brand-new LED lighting.
"We want to light as many bulbs for people with ALS so that the clients we have lost can see the Brummitt-Feasby ALS House from heaven," Campbell said.
"Last year, we lit so many of the old Christmas light bulbs that we kept blowing the breakers in the house -- but that's OK, because people were so generous. This year, the LED bulbs will stay on."
The house provides accommodations for four people whose ALS has progressed to the point they can no longer live in their own homes.
The house has 24-hour care where medications can be given, meals are provided and recreation is organized.
ALS is not contagious, but once diagnosed, the majority of people with it usually die within two to five years. More than 200 Manitobans are living with ALS at any time.
HOW TO HELP:
To donate to Lite Up A Life, call Brian at 837-1270 or Sharon at 831-1510. You can donate $5 to light three bulbs, $10 to light seven bulbs, or $150 to light a whole tree. Any donation of $10 or more will receive a tax receipt. You can also donate by emailing HOPE@alsmb.ca for the event. Donations to the organization can also be made online at alsmb.ca/index.php?page=support