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Hope Loves Company to host free weekend camp for children affected by ALS

Hope Loves Company completed its sixth camp in New Jersey on May 20. (Courtesy photo)

Hope Loves Company continues to support children and young adults affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease as free weekend camps return in six states.

Children and young adults who had or have a loved one battling ALS, as well as their families, are invited to attend Camp HLC during 2022 in New Jersey (May 13-15), Indiana (June 19-24), Massachusetts (August 12-14), Illinois (Sept. 16-18), Georgia (Oct. 14-16) and California (Nov. 18-20).

A virtual camp will also take place through Zoom from July 15-17.

Hope Loves Company (HLC) is accepting registration for all six camps at www.hopelovescompany.org/camp-hlc, according to a press release.

Camp HLC is a free weekend retreat for children and their families and offers many experiences: swimming, fishing, hiking, ropes courses, archery, boating, arts and crafts, music, and more.

Counselors attend to facilitate Camp HLC “group shares,” or community groups, and are available for children who wish to seek additional support throughout the weekend.

Campers will participate in activities that promote wellness and the development of healthy coping skills, such as yoga, art and music therapy.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects approximately 30,000 Americans. Currently, there is no known cause or cure and the disease is fatal.

It is estimated that 85% of ALS patients have a child or grandchild. These children are often the primary caregivers for their loved ones with ALS: bathing, dressing, feeding, and caring for them, according to the statement. As a result, these young caregivers face several challenges as they struggle to balance their various day-to-day responsibilities. 

Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, resident of Titusville and founder of HLC, lost her husband to ALS in 2001, so she knows from personal experience how ALS affects a family, especially children. Since founding HLC in 2012, O’Donnell-Ames and her team have hosted 37 camps for families affected by ALS from across the country, all for no cost, according to the statement.

To register for Camp HLC or to learn more about Hope Loves Company’s other free programs for families affected by ALS, visit www.hopelovescompany.org, call 609-730-1144, or find Hope Loves Company on social media.

Facebook and Instagram: @hopelovescompany, Twitter: @hopelovesco.

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