July 2018 Volunteer of the Month
Nancy West

The Ice Bucket Challenge in August 2014 showed the power of social media to raise money and awareness to fight ALS. From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, this unprecedented phenomenon highlighted how online personal connections can be a force for good. Thanks to the Challenge, our July volunteer of the Month, Nancy West, became more aware of ALS and consequently began to volunteer here.

Nancy did not  have a personal connection to ALS. However, her knowledge of the disease grew as stories filled the airwaves that August. She began to think of her former colleague and Facebook friend, Donna Cleary, who she discovered now worked at The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

Nancy’s husband had just passed away from a Pompe Disease, which like ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disease. Unfortunately for Nancy and her husband, there were very little resources to help guide them through the many phases of his illness. Nancy was his advocate. She fought for his acceptance into clinical trials to prolong his life. She devoted her time and energy to making sure he had the best care possible. Her experience with Pompe Disease mirrored the daily stresses and struggles ALS caregivers face every day.

After her husband passed away, Nancy wanted to honor his memory by supporting others facing a debilitating illness. Nancy reached out to her friend Donna Cleary to see if there was a way she could help people living with ALS and Donna was excited to welcome her.

This year, Nancy has volunteered for the Chapter each Tuesday. She is using her talents and experience as a freelance writer and researcher to plan and coordinate an  upcoming ALS research conference. Nancy has diligently researched and visited venues and reviewed how to best meet the needs of patients attending this event. Her great attention to detail will help make the research conference informative and meaningful. 

Through many Tuesdays in the office, Nancy has seamlessly become part of the Chapter team. Her knowledge of ALS has grown and her thoughtful insight is valued. Even though Nancy does not have personal ALS experience, her time caring for her husband gives her the empathy and focus to be a trusted and valued voice for ALS care and programs.

The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter has benefited greatly from the use of social media. From donations to awareness to organizing for events, it has become a necessary resource for the ALS mission. Social media also brought Nancy West to the Chapter and all of us are grateful to have her volunteering by our side.


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.