Voice For Joanie

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 27th 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. Suffers of ALS become completely paralyzed – unable to move any muscle — and are robbed of the ability to communicate.

Since 1989, VFJ has provided assistive technology — free of charge — to over 1025 people with ALS and other debilitating conditions who can no longer speak. If these individuals can blink an eye or raise an eyebrow or barely move a finger, VFJ has equipment that can overcome communication difficulties. As ALS progresses, VFJ replaces equipment with different technology that better meets an individual’s changing needs. Clients can once again express their needs, thoughts and emotions, speak with their family, friends and caregivers, and maintain some control over their environment. Simple devices are loaned at the onset of ALS and different technology for those fully paralyzed in the later stages of this rapidly advancing disease. Those completely paralyzed individuals still wish to say “Thank you” to a caregiver and “I love you” to their family members. VFJ fills a critical role in helping to improve the quality of life for these individuals and their caregivers. Most patients and their families cannot afford the highly-specialized, costly equipment we provide.

We are a completely volunteer organization; therefore, 96% each dollar donated goes directly to equipping voiceless sufferers with communication devices. We rely on tax-deductible donations from the general public and foundations to enable us to continue our life-changing work. Voice For Joanie, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your gift will help us to continue our critically-needed mission of "bringing a voice to the voiceless."

The Ice Bucket Challenge brought much needed attention to the devastating disease of ALS and awareness of the daily struggle faced by the afflicted and their families. It is hoped that the funds donated will be used to find the cause of and cure for ALS. Unfortunately, the monies raised for research have not helped with the daily communications struggle of current ALS patients. That is Voice For Joanie’s mission.