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Home > Letter from the Executive Director: Year in Review

Letter from the Executive Director: Year in Review

by | Dec 26, 2017

Executive Director Tanner Hockensmith and his family

Texas is big, really big. Our friends at Texas Humor stated that “if you drive long enough through Texas, you still might not get all the way through it.” As Texans, we pride ourselves on the sheer size of our great state.

However, its sprawling cities, growing suburbs, and vast rural areas pose a real challenge when we think about access. At ALS Texas, we believe that everyone living with ALS deserves to have access to top-notch clinical care, programs and resources that increase quality of life, clinical research studies, and an ALS community advocating for change.

The geography of Texas is not the only challenge that people with ALS face when it comes to accessibility. ALS can be the biggest hurdle to accessing these programs and opportunities. The nature of the disease often prevents ease of accessibility and people living with ALS struggle to take an active role.

At the ALS Association of Texas we have set our eyes on providing access to care for everyone in the state and being the national leader in research.  This is a long-term goal, but year by year we are getting closer. We started off 2017 with four multidisciplinary clinics – two in Houston and one in San Antonio and in Austin. Since January, we have added three more clinics in the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, and Dallas, providing access to life-extending care to significantly more ALS patients in Texas. It’s through these clinics that ALS research and clinical trials are conducted.

Earlier this year, I saw our mission come full circle when I met a young ALS advocate at the Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. She and her family had been involved with our Chapter when her father had ALS, so when he passed away, she committed to advocating for all people with ALS in her father’s honor. It helped me remember why what we do is so important and impactful for people facing seemingly insurmountable challenges.

At ALS Texas, all the work we do, the services we provide, the clinics we support, and the public policy we advocate for, helps us move toward the end goal of creating a world without ALS. In the coming year, we will continue to increase access to these crucial programs, by adding new clinics and increasing funding to already-existing ones, and by increasing our financial investment to cutting-edge ALS research.

No accomplishment at the Chapter is achieved alone. Without your partnership, we could not fulfill our mission of providing quality care, local and national advocacy, and cutting-edge research. I truly believe that we are stronger together. Would you make a tax-deductible year-end donation to help us continue to move our mission forward in 2018?


Tanner Hockensmith
Executive Director

How ALS Patients Can Help

Once you’ve been diagnosed with ALS, it’s easy to feel like you just don’t have many options, but there are ways you can make a difference.

How You Can Help People With ALS

We all have a part to play in the fight against ALS! Your generous support funds critical research for better treatments and a cure for this disease. Here are a few ways you can help: