The ALS Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2019) — The ALS Association is launching a new scholarship program that will fund up to $5,000 per year for at least 30 students whose personal or family finances are compromised by the financial burden of ALS. The scholarships apply to students seeking college degrees or vocational certificates.
The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund was established by Mark Calmes, vice chair of The ALS Association’s National Board of Trustees. The scholarship fund is named in honor of his wife, Jane, who fought ALS for eight years and passed away in August 2017.
“Students from families that are dealing with, or have dealt with ALS, are often overlooked and collateral damage to the disease. This damage can negatively impact people for a lifetime and needs to be addressed,” said Calmes, who has served on the Association board since 2015.
“Jane amazed me every day,” he continued. “She was a fighter who battled three illnesses in a row a silent heart attack, breast cancer, and then ALS. After she died, I began to think of ways to honor her courageous spirit and compassion. The idea of a scholarship program resonated with me because Jane was always keen on the lifelong benefits provided by education.”
“The financial burden of ALS is well-documented and can devastate a family’s ability to make ends meet,” said Dr. Neil Thakur, executive vice president of mission strategy for The ALS Association. “We are honored to work with Mark to implement this important scholarship program and we share his goal to make sure students impacted by ALS can still achieve their educational potential.”
Applications for the first scholarship awards, which will be distributed for the fall 2019 semester, are being accepted through May 21, 2019. To apply for The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund awards, donate to the scholarship fund, or get additional information, please visit www.alsa.org/CalmesScholarshipFund.
The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund is being administered by Scholarship America.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Over the course of the disease, people lose the ability to move, to speak, and eventually, to breathe. On average, it takes about a year before a final ALS diagnosis is made. The disease is always fatal, usually within five years of diagnosis. There is no cure.
About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the largest private funder of ALS research in the world. The Association funds global research collaborations, provides assistance for people with ALS and their families through our nationwide network of chapters and certified clinical care centers, and advocates for better public policies for people with ALS. The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while urgently searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.