14th annual ALS & MS Walk for Living returns in-person

For the first time since 2019, the much-anticipated ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and MS (multiple sclerosis) Walk for Living will be held in-person on Sunday, September 18 on Admiral’s Hill at 10 AM. A popular event on Boston’s North Shore, the 14th Annual ALS & MS Walk for Living is a testament to the remarkable residents at the Leonard Florence Center for Living, operated by Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. They show the world how they battle ALS and MS with courage, grace, sprit, and humor. Additionally, this year’s Walk will honor another group of amazing individuals: the friends and neighbors who live on Admiral’s Hill.

“We are thrilled to dedicate this year’s Walk for Living to the exceptional people who reside on Admiral’s Hill,” said Barry Berman of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “The Admiral’s Hill community has opened their hearts to us, welcoming us warmly year after year. We are truly grateful for their friendship, support, and generosity.”

Mike Scott, a 64 year-old resident who moved into the Center in 2014, was officially diagnosed with ALS in 2011, although he had been experiencing symptoms since 1995. “Once Mike was diagnosed with ALS, he put on hold his dream of obtaining a PhD in chemistry and becoming a professor with a research concentration in biofuels. Yet Mike uses his talents every day to inspire the residents at the Leonard Florence Center.

Despite Mike’s ALS diagnosis, he lives a full, active life, going on trips, socializing with staff and residents, and giving tours of the Center. He is also beta testing a Google speech app that will recognize slurred speech and repeat it clearly using a synthesized voice. “When I was diagnosed, my doctor told me to get my affairs in order, as I may only have a few years to live,” recalled Mike. “I’m sure this isn’t what he meant, but I hope you’ll agree that my affairs are very much in order.”

“The past few years have showed us the importance of social interaction,” said Adam Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “The isolation during the pandemic was difficult for everyone but was especially challenging for our Leonard Florence residents. This event celebrates their incredible strength, perseverance, and zest for living.” 

Living An Independent Life

As the country’s first urban model Green House® skilled nursing facility, the Center cares for more individuals living with ALS than anywhere else in the world. 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. This revolutionary technology enables them to move independently through the entire residence, vastly improving their quality of life. The Stein Family Center for Well-Being, the only Green House® ventilator program in the country, opened in 2020.

   The 2022 Walk for Living will take place at 10am on Sunday, September 18 at 165 Captains Row in Chelsea. Every single dollar raised goes directly back to patient care and programs for the ALS and MS residents.

Kevin Kelliher, president of The Lundgren Management Group, Inc. noted that the relationship between the Admiral’s Hill community and the Leonard Florence Center flourished from the very beginning. “We are in awe of our ‘neighbors on the hill,” stated Kelliher. “The residents inspire us, every single day, to live life to the fullest. It is an honor to be recognized by such an extraordinary organization.”

The two-mile walk in the heart of scenic Admiral’s Hill enables residents to participate in wheelchairs and ventilators as well as by foot. To register, go to the Walk for Living website and click on register. 

Following the walk, there will be a BBQ hosted by Chili’s, face painting, live dance performances, a petting zoo, popcorn, and cotton candy. The $20 donation fee includes a Walk for Living tee shirt, all food, and activities. The Walk for Living is one of the few walks that are dog-friendly. 

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.

About Chelsea Jewish Lifecare

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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