The pandemic has been challenging for everyone but just imagine what it’s been like for the ALS and MS residents at the Leonard Florence Center for Living. In addition to fighting debilitating diseases, these individuals have had to cope with increased isolation, limited family visits and reduced group activities. Yet throughout it all, they continue to show incredible courage, optimism and a zest for living.
The Leonard Florence Center for Living, operated by the non-profit Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, is the country’s first urban model Green House® skilled nursing facility. Notably, the Center cares for more individuals living with ALS than anywhere else in the world. What’s even more unique is that residents, many of whom are completely immobilized, can control lights, turn on the TV, call for the elevator, open doors and raise window shades, all with help of a computer and sensor that tracks head and eye movements for instruction. This technology enables them to move independently through the entire residence, vastly improving their quality of life. For the residents of the Leonard Florence Center, this freedom is an incredibly precious gift.
The ALS & MS Walk for Living on October 17, which will be held virtually this year, celebrates these inspiring individuals and helps raise much needed funds. Every single dollar raised goes directly back to patient care and programs for the ALS and MS residents.
A Revolutionary Way of Living
In December 2020. the Stein Family Center for Well-Being, the only Green House® ventilator program in the country, opened in the Leonard Florence Center. The Center honors Bill and Sharon Stein and their family, who have been longtime friends and supporter of the organization.
“We are thrilled to be involved with the Leonard Florence Center for Living,” said Bill Stein. “To witness this revolutionary model of care while getting to know these extraordinary residents has been a remarkable experience.”
Offering state-of-the-art portable ventilators in a Green House® model of care, specialized care residents have access to a completely new way of living. These multi-function ventilators are the first and only ones of their kind on the market. They provide a unified respiratory system that makes it easy to switch and customize therapies, creating a simple system to use and manage. Twenty additional private rooms were allocated for vent-dependent residents, many of whom have been diagnosed with ALS.
“I am so very proud of our residents,” said Barry Berman of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “In the face of adversity, they show us, time and time again, how to live life to the fullest. The 2021 ALS & MS Walk for Living honors these exceptional individuals.” Added Berman, “We deeply appreciate our residents, families, staff, friends and community members who support us year after year. We could not do this without you.”
It’s easy to participate in the virtual two-mile walk. Participants can pick their own route, the people they chose to walk with or walk by themselves. They can choose to walk, run, roll, ride a bike or a treadmill. They can also choose the day and time they would like to walk. The two miles can be completed prior to or on October 17. To register, simply go to the Walk for Living website (www.walkforliving.org) and click on register. All donations are tax deductible.
Over the past thirteen years, the Walk for Living has raised over $2 million dollars. Platinum Level sponsors include M&T Banks and Wilmington Trust; Gold Level A.H.O.H. The Independent Newspaper Group continues to be the media sponsor. For more information or to make a much-appreciated donation, please visit www.walkforliving.org or contact Walk Director Maura Graham at [email protected] or 617-409-8973.