Written by: Kim Schmahl
I had my first official day of work on Monday, but I kicked off my internship with the ALS Association the day before at the ALS Awareness Day at the Cincinnati Reds game! The organization rented out the party deck for over 100 people including patients and their friends and families and staff. The Reds also recognized a patient and his family on the field and the patient’s son got to throw the first pitch. It was a great opportunity for me to meet some of the staff I will be working with, interact with patients and learn more at ALS–but in the fun casual setting of Great American Ball Park.
I’ll admit, before the Columbus Foundation told me that I would be interviewing with the ALS Association, I knew pretty much nothing about the disease. But I’ve learned a lot this week, beginning at the game on Sunday, so I figured I’d share a few quick facts, since I’m guessing some of the readers don’t know much about it either…
Pretty heavy stuff, huh? Having read some facts and figures like those, it was tough for me to wrap my mind around what ALS is, so I am so glad that I was invited to the Reds game. I was able to meet patients and see that they aren’t just statistics, but each of them not only had differing progressions in the disease, but their own individual personalities. Putting faces to the numbers really made me realize why the ALS Association is around.
At the game, I also spent time with some of the staff members at the ALS Association and I can already tell that they are all incredible people with big hearts. I think the most amazing thing to see was the staff interacting with patients–they not only knew the patients by name, but knew their kids names, their hobbies and their favorite colors. Okay, so that last one may be a slight exaggeration, but the point is that they genuinely care about each and every patient.
Going to the Reds game was a great start to my summer internship. Meeting some of the patients that our chapter serves really reinforced why the people at the ALS Association do what they do. After this first unofficial day of work, I am ready to let the real work begin!