15th Annual ALS & MS Walk for Living to be Held on October 15

Steve Saling and Patrick O’Brien were given 2-5 years to live after each was diagnosed with ALS. Defying all odds, they have been living at the Leonard Florence Center for Living for the past 13 years since the Center opened its doors. Both are living full, productive lives; Steve has traveled throughout the country speaking about ALS and Patrick produced Transfatty Lives, a documentary about ALS which won the Tribecca Film Festival Audience Award. The Leonard Florence Center for Living takes care of more individuals living with ALS than any place else in the world.

In support of these inspiring residents at the Center, Former Governor Charlie Baker and his wife Lauren Baker will act as walk ambassadors at the 15th Annual ALS & MS Walk for Living on Sunday, October 15. The short two-mile walk enables the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and MS (multiple sclerosis) residents as well as other attendees to participate in wheelchairs, ventilators or by foot.

“We are thrilled to have Governor Baker and Mrs. Baker on board as our ambassadors for this year’s Walk for Living,” said Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, the nonprofit that operates the award-winning Center. “Mrs. Baker visited the Center and met the residents. It was obvious how moved she was by the experience. We are grateful for the Baker’s support and participation in our major fundraising initiative of the year.”

“I am in awe of the spirit, determination, and passion of these residents,” said Lauren Baker. “Charlie and I are proud to act as the ambassadors for the ALS & MS Walk for Living. The residents are truly an inspiration to us all.”

As the country’s first urban model Green House® skilled nursing facility, the Leonard Florence Center provides a level of independence not typically found in other skilled nursing facilities. Residents, many who are completely immobilized, control lights, turn on the TV, call for the elevator, and open doors with help of a computer and sensor that tracks head and eye movements. The Stein Family Center for Well-Being, the only Green House® ventilator program in the country, opened within the Center in 2020.

The 2023 Walk for Living will take place at 10am on Sunday, October 15 at 165 Captains Row on Admiral’s Hill in Chelsea. Every single dollar raised goes directly back to patient care and programs for ALS and MS residents. To register, go to the Walk for Living website and click on register. To join Governor Baker and Lauren Baker’s team, please go Team Baker and make a donation to their team.

Following the dog friendly walk, there will be a BBQ hosted by Chili’s, face painting, live dance performances, a petting zoo and more. The $20 donation fee includes a Walk for Living tee shirt as well as all food and activities.

Platinum level sponsors include M&T Banks and Wilmington Trust; Gold Level A.H.O.H.; Independent Newspaper Group is 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. All donations are tax deductible.

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare is redefining senior care and re-envisioning what life should be like for those living with disabling conditions. The eldercare community includes a wide array of skilled and short-term rehab residences, ALS, MS and ventilator dependent specialized care residences, traditional and specialized assisted living options, memory care, independent living, adult day health, and homecare and hospice agencies that deliver customized and compassionate care.

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