Voice For Joanie

"Bringing a Voice to the Voiceless"

Imagine being unable to speak. Now imagine being both unable to speak and completely paralyzed.This is the agony of a victim of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease). You have thoughts but no way to express them. You are cold, hungry, in pain, or want to say "thank you" or "I love you" but you can longer speak. That’s when the work of Voice For Joanie, Inc., (VFJ) is priceless.

As VFJ enters its 28th year, the silent sufferers of ALS continue to need assistance to express their needs, feelings, and thoughts. ALS is a progressive, fatal, devastating disease that causes degeneration of motor neurons that control all voluntary muscle movement. It does not discriminate, affecting men and women from all ethnic backgrounds and all walks of life. Sufferers of ALS become completely paralyzed – unable to move any muscle — and are robbed of the ability to communicate.


A New Milford woman dedicates her life to helping those who cannot communicate due to ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. By supplying computers and software, she has single-handedly helped hundreds of people to regain their voices, and maintain their independence.

Shirley Fredlund: I would talk with her on the phone and notice the slurring in her words. I would go to visit her and notice she was having more difficulty; this continued to a point where she was unable to talk and move. The only thing she was able to do was blink. We used to talk to each other with a letter board. I would point to the letter and she would indicate by blinking which letter she wished to use and we would spell out words. And I thought, there has to be a better way

LettersTom's ArtMyra Kraft Award

People with ALS



Catfish Hunter


Machael Zaslow


Stephen Hawking