The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter is proud to support a partnership with Tendil & Lombardi Champagne to raise money and awareness for the fight against Lou Gehrig's Disease. This partnership came about as Stéphane Lombardi, owner of Tendil & Lombardi, came to our Chapter inspired by his father in law, Dr. Jim Madden, who was living with ALS. Dr. Madden passed away from the disease in late 2013, but Stéphane, his wife Carol, and all those touched by ALS continue to be motivated to support everyone affected by the disease and get us closer to a cure.
That is why proceeds from the sale of bottles of Tendil & Lombardi champagne in Pennsylvania will go directly to support the fight against ALS. We hope you will purchase a bottle at a Wine & Spirits store near you and we look forward to toasting with their champagne when we can finally say we have put an end to ALS for good. To learn more about their Tendil & Lombardi, please visit http://www.tendiletlombardi.com/
Learn more about the inspiration for this promotion in a story written by Carol Madden Lombardi, daughter of Dr. Jim Madden.
A Toast to Dad
By Carol Madden Lombardi
My dad is the most positive person I know. Watching how he approaches life with the many challenges of ALS has been an invaluable lesson to me and to everybody else around him. As he needs more and more help it really does give us all such peace and joy to take care of him and to be by his side, despite the constant struggles and sadness.
No person with ALS goes through this disease alone, especially as it progresses during the later stages. Being able to be a caregiver for my dad has been a blessing to me and my family, and the support we have received from The ALS Association to allow us to provide that care has been invaluable. You can put a price tag on a wheelchair, but you can’t put a price tag on time with your father.
Dad has always been a huge fan of French food and wine, so he was delighted when my husband Stéphane, or “The Frenchman” as he is now called, married into our family. We have traveled in Europe a few times with my parents, but the most fun we had was exploring small wine villages in France that my dad only knew from labels on the bottles back home. We’ve shared so many champagne toasts with him on our travels abroad and back home in Pennsylvania, and there is nobody we would rather raise our glass with in celebration and good cheer.
This summer, Stéphane and I flew in from France with our newest bundle of joy Remi, who was born in Lyon on July 16th. We brought Remi and his big sister, who is only two years old herself, into Philadelphia just in time for our family beach week at the end of August. All five siblings and our families were together with mom and dad in Sea Isle, New Jersey, enjoying the beautiful ocean views, time walking along the beach, and more than one toast of champagne.
Now when we go to our beach vacations, there is an elevator for dad. While it is now an unfortunate necessity as ALS keeps him in a wheelchair, it is also a reminder that despite this disease, we are still able to spend time together as a family.
Last year, dad spoke at the ALS Association Golf Outing. It was wonderful to see the love and support not just for him, but for all the people with ALS and their families. While we were all moved by his speech, I think dad would insist that his baby granddaughter stole the show when she pulled out the ticket for the raffle!
It meant a lot to us to see so many people supporting The ALS Association and it means even more to see how the Chapter supports my father. He was diagnosed in 2009 after limping with a drop foot and the symptoms progressed over the next few months where he needed a walker and then a scooter to get around from place to place. He still did everything that he could to stay healthy and fight back against the disease. As witnessed by his family support and the care from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter, dad will not have to fight alone.
Dad has lost more muscle strength since last year, losing more control of his arms and hands. Eating and breathing have both become more of a daily struggle. This year, he was forced to cancel his plans to teach, including private lessons from home, and this was a major disappointment for him. Our dad has been teaching music since he was in college, and even though he isn’t teaching at school anymore, his grandchildren still come to visit for lessons on drums and the french horn to supplement their music training at school. I know that the music from his grandchildren makes dad smile more than any song he has ever heard.
The ALS Association has helped so much these past few months and years. We now have a care giver who comes to the house eight hours a week, which helps both dad and mom. Now they have a hospital bed at home, which makes transfers easier and also helps when dad is coughing and having trouble breathing. When we have questions, the nurses and social workers at the Chapter are only a phone call away, happy to troubleshoot and provide solutions for our daily problems. They make the most stressful times much easier to handle.
This year, my parents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. That they can spend this time together means the world to us all. I hope that everybody can have a partner in life like my parents have in each other.
My husband and I are lucky to have this example in our lives. Now we want to give back to those who help make this life possible. Stéphane’s company Champagne Tendil et Lombardi is going to donate a portion of the sales from their new champagne to The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia so that more husbands can celebrate their anniversary and more grandparents can hear the music of their grandchildren. This new champagne will be available in Pennsylvania state stores in mid October. I hope you will pick up a bottle of Tendil et Lombardi Champagne when you go to the store and share a toast to my dad and to all families living with ALS.