The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter supports approximately 200 patients and their families in South Central, Pennsylvania at any given time. Our trained professionals and support staff cover all the bases through research, advocacy, and patient care. Patients and families in the area use the ALS Association Certified Clinic at Hershey Medical Center and rely on the Greater Philadelphia Chapter for our specialized services and programs to help them live fuller lives with ALS while joining together in hope for a cure.


December 2012 South Central Newsletter
November 2012 South Central Newsletter

Smayniacs walk
Walk to Defeat ALS

The ALS community comes together in South Central, Pennsylvania each year at the Hershey Walk to Defeat ALS(R), which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to help fund critical ALS programs, such as the ALS Association certified clinic at Hershey Medical Center. Families from throughout the state attend to raise money, raise hope, and build a community dedicated to fighting and defeating ALS. The next Hershey Walk to Defeat ALS(R) is on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

The Walk to Defeat ALS(R) is an exciting and fun event for all. Click here to see video of why the walk matters.





Hershey ClinicALS Association Certified Clinic at Hershey Medical Center

Over 200 patients in South Central, PA get direct care from our ALS clinic, a collaboration between Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Patients see as many as a dozen specialists in one visit, giving them the support they need as well as recommendations on how to best manage life with ALS. The ALS clinic is funded largely through the generous donors who participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS(R).

Click here to learn more about our clinics.



Don SmayALS Research

Patients, families, and supporters from South Central Pennsylvania and throughout the country are united in hope for a cure for ALS. The ALS Association devotes more money to research into Lou Gehrig's Disease than any organization besides the federal government. This research has led us to understand new genetic links, brought us closer to developing useful biomarkers for ALS, and given us a much greater understanding of this complicated disease. While we do not have a cure today, your research dollars are giving us the knowledge we need to move forward in this important endeavor. Learn more at






Click here to read Don Smay's story about participating in ALS Research.







Advocacy in HarrisburgAdvocacy

Patients, families, caregivers and other friends and allies join together every year to give voice to ALS issues in Harrisburg and Washington. In 2012, with help from local State Representative Bryan Cutler and others, the Pennsylvania state legislators listened to patient stories and approved a $300,000 line item for ALS patient services, a tremendous victory for patients and families.

On a national level, ALS advocates have successfully lobbied Congress to support millions of dollars in ALS research, to support veterans diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, and to create the ALS Registry.  Sign up to be an ALS Advocate and make your voice heard.    Click here to learn more about Pennsylvania Advocacy.


Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program

ALS can take away a person's ability to walk, to work, and even to speak. Through the Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program, The ALS Association makes sure that they can still have a voice and live a fuller life with Lou Gehrig's Disease. The Assistive Technology Program provides a wide range of resources that allow a person with ALS to live their life more easily and to better spend time with their family.

Click here to watch how Gordie Miller has benefitted from the Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program.


Don FarrellSupporting Veterans With ALS

Military veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS as the general population and is considered a service connected disease. South Central Pennsylvania has a high number of veterans and we honor their service. We also strive to provide those veterans living with Lou Gehrig's Disease with the best in patient care. They served us, now it is our turn to serve them.

One of those veterans from our area is Don Farrell, who served in the Air Force and later worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. His A Cappella Love Story is available here on our blog.






Heidi visted with LeSean at Training CampFighting ALS by the Yard

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy grew up in South Central Pennsylvania and played football in the Harrisburg area. LeSean not only saw challenges on the field, but also in his family as his loving grandmother Maryann Branch passed away from ALS. Now LeSean is honoring his grandmother and has vowed to Fight ALS by the Yard.



You can join LeSean's team and donate based on how many yards he runs this year and help score a victory over ALS.



Howard I. Abrams In-Home Care Program

People with ALS want the freedom to be with their families. The Howard I. Abrams In-Home Care Program helps make sure that people with ALS can stay in their homes and spend time with loved ones. In 2012, the Greater Philadelphia Chapter funded over 4,000 hours of In-Home Care in South Central, PA alone.


Click here to learn more about the Howard I. Abrams In-Home Care Program





Click here to read the story about Aaron Winborn, a person with ALS from South Central, PA, to see how the program affects his family.







 Kids Making a Difference

When a person has ALS, it affects an entire family, including children. From Walking to Defeat ALS, to being advocates, to writing beautiful poetry, kids of all ages are making a difference in the fight against Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Click here to read the local story of Bennett Simpson, who honored his grandfather.

Click here to see our Kidsletters.



Named Funds

Named Funds, such as the Ken Ellis Fund, offer a way for family members, friends and colleagues to permanently honor or remember a person whose life has been impacted by Lou Gehrig’s Disease assuring that the name of the honoree will be forever linked to the Greater Philadelphia Chapter’s unique history and heritage in the fight against ALS.

Visit our Named Funds page or contact Jeff Cline at for more details.




With your help and support, we can make sure that all families with ALS in South Central Pennsylvania know that they are never alone in this fight and that we are together in hope.



The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter
321 Norristown Road - Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002

The ALS Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.