Tag Archives: The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter

PVA Education Foundation Enables Assistive Technology Demonstration Project

PVA- Paralyzed Veteran's of America

The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter’s (ALS-GNY) Assistive Technology Demonstration Project enhances the lives of people with ALS (PALS) by building awareness of the computer and other technology that can help them communicate, and remain mobile and independent, for as long as possible. This critical effort is currently being funded by the Paralyzed Veterans of America Education Foundation (PVA), with a grant of $44,157.

The Project involves ALS-GNY’s assistive technology specialists, as well as members of our four Regional care teams, who are demonstrating a variety of available equipment to PALS, their caregivers and healthcare providers. Demonstrations take place during Home Visits and PALS and caregiver support groups, and at our five ALS-GNY Centers, area nursing homes, long-term care facilities, veterans’ hospitals, and hospices.

One PALS who benefited from the Project is a 68-year-old living in a nursing home who’d been successfully using eye-tracking software to enable communication. When the technology stopped working for her, an ALS-GNY specialist visited to find out why and provide a solution. Due to her disease progression, the patient’s posture had shifted enough to misalign her eye and computer. In addressing the issue, our specialist also trained nursing home staff about the technology and how to help their patient maintain the ability to communicate going forward. Healthcare providers also learned about the full complement of ALS-GNY’s patient services, which enhances their ability to care for every PALS in their care.

ALS-GNY is grateful to the PVA Education Foundation for their generosity, which is positively impacting hundreds of PALS, as well as their caregivers and healthcare providers, in our region.

Veteran and PALS Andrew Williams, and wife Antoinette Williams


The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter works hard with the help of PVA to provide services and care to veterans diagnosed with ALS.

Seen here is veteran and PALS Andre Williams, and wife Antoinette Williams.

Wrapping Up Hope For ALS This Holiday

How one woman raised $2,000 for The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter through gift wrapping.

Melinda Cantor ALS Association Greater New York Chapter

She has wrapped a small castle, a child’s go-kart, countless boxes, and secured a second-place win in the 17th Annual Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest for herself by assembling a large bow for the canopy of a two-person paddleboat. But on Sunday, Dec. 22, Melinda Cantor was wrapping for the love of her mother, Josephine Pace, who died in September from ALS. After an early morning appearance on the Today show in New York City (she said that she was up at 4 am to get to the taping), Cantor was in her Long Island store, Only You Gifts, to kick off a fundraiser to benefit The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter at noon.

Customers brought gifts to the little shop to have the “wrap star” give their packages a little extra holiday magic with donations going to the non-profit’s services and research for ALS, a fatal neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, named after the Yankee player who died from the disease in 1941. There is currently no treatment or cure for ALS. In addition to funding research, The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter provides vital patient services, equipment lending and support for patients and their families.

It was the services that the Chapter provided for her mother that Cantor was so grateful for and why she wanted to hold the gift-wrapping fundraiser.

“They were there holding our hands,” said Cantor on the day of the event. “We had so many questions and they gave us emotional support.”

Friends, family and customers gathered at Only You Gifts on Main Street in Islip on the weekend before Christmas to remember Pace who was diagnosed only nine months before she passed away. Cantor’s sister Michelle Rullmann was also on hand to help out. Music was donated by Ron Legotti, a friend of Cantor’s who owns a local Karaoke and entertainment company, where the gift wrapping pro also happens to be a singer. Cantor and Legotti regaled the crowd that afternoon with a duet of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to keep the mood festive. In all the event raise $2,000 for The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter.

Cantor recalled the help her mother received from the organization this past year.

“It was amazing what they did for us,” she said. “I saw how much support they provided for us.”

For more information on The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter click here to visit the website  You can still donate to Melinda Cantor’s gift wrapping fundraiser online by clicking here.