Worthy causes: The ALS Association of Florida


If you stumble onto this page looking for information about Rafael Olmeda, the reporter, advocate for diversity in media, parenting writer, karaoke nut and “24” fan, you’ve come to the right place.

The first thing I want to do on this page is enlist your help in finding a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease. Click here to donate. Much obliged.

I have a confession. I missed this year’s Walk to Defeat ALS. With a new baby and tensions at work, I’m not afraid to admit that I couldn’t find the time to work the walk into my schedule.

How great it would be if those who are suffering from ALS had the luxury to delete it from their schedule. Sorry, I can’t suffer from ALS this year – I’m BUSY.

But this disease only knows one schedule: constant deterioration until…

You know how it goes. Look, through the support of those who participated in 2008, the ALS Association was able to raise more than $600,000 in the state of Florida to help those affected by Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This enabled the ALS Association to provide assistance for patients and families at every stage of the disease: Patient care management program, assistive technology, a medical equipment loan program, respite care, support groups, and multidisciplinary ALS clinics. We could not do it without you!

Why do I say “we”? Because I still feel connected to this cause, despite my absence on walk day. The other day, I dug into my pocket and gave a small amount to the ALS Association. Not enough to break the bank: just enough to help make a difference.

I’m asking you to do the same. $100 if you can do it. $50 is fine too. $20 would be just fine. $10 works for me.

People often ask me how my sister is doing. She’s keeping her spirits up and is the same quick-witted dynamo she’s always been. But I’ll be honest: the real answer you’re seeking is always the same: Her condition has worsened, and will continue to worsen.

We’re not just seeking a cure: ALS moves so quickly and science so slowly that it’s unrealistic to expect a cure to benefit anyone currently diagnosed with ALS. That’s why I’m so grateful that the ALS Association focuses also on treatments, up-to-date equipment, and other things People with ALS need NOW.

Yeah, I missed the walk. But I didn’t miss a chance to give, and I hope you don’t miss this chance either..

Feel free to send this message and link to your friends. This fight isn’t over. It still needs each of us.

Published by Olmeda

At-large director on the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists. Former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and of UNITY: Journalists of Color. An extreme moderate, not committed to political ideology. Stepfather to two wonderful daughters. Father to two wonderful sons. Husband. Rogue karaoke singer. Humanist

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