Monmouth's Ask The Doctor March-April 2020

Did you know that there are many families affected by ALS living right here in Mercer County? ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terminal neurodegenerative disease that affects 30,000 Americans annually. Every ninety minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS. And sadly, every ninety minutes someone also loses that battle. As the disease progresses, people living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, speak, and eventually, breathe. For these reasons, those living with ALS need help with daily activities. In addition to adult care- givers, children and grandchildren may be involved in bathing, dressing, feeding, and toileting loved ones who are no longer able to do so independently. Titusville resident, Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, created a nonprofit to support these children after recognizing the lack of support available to her own children, who had all lost a parent to ALS. “Our three children ex- pressed grief in very different ways. I was disappointed that there were little resources available to them as they faced sadness, frustration, anxiety and grief because of ALS and their enormous losses,” says O’Donnell-Ames. Once her children were adults, O’Donnell-Ames creat- ed Hope Loves Company from her home. Hope Loves Company provides Camp HLC, care packages, scholarships, family fun days, and in 2019, hosted the first HLC Kids Count ALS Conference. Camp HLC, which now takes place in six states, is a weekend retreat where participants enjoy recreational activities like swimming and hiking, attend workshops and healing circles with counselors, and connect with peers who share in their experiences. “It’s a wonderful break from the craziness of our everyday lives. When you come, it’s like you’re all family. You don’t have to explain what’s going on at home, everyone knows,” said one 13-year old camper. Camp HLC, like all HLC programs, is provided at no cost to families affected by ALS. To learn more about Hope Loves Company, visit or call 609-730-1144.

K I D S ’ H E A L T H & C A M P

Mercer Rowing Programs

Youth: Learn to Row summer camps for rising 7th graders. The nationally competitive Mercer Junior Rowing Program, 9th grade and up (winter and spring programs)

Teamwork Fitness & Fun!

Caspersen Rowing Center

Program Dir. Hilary Gehman: Adults : Mid-Day tness sessions on the rowing machines Mercer Masters 5:30-7:00am Recreational and Lake Mercer, West Windsor Rowing Programs for Everyone!

Competitive options Adult Learn to Row Adult Summer Rowing League

RowWith Us!

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