After Stacy Farber was diagnosed with ALS in February 2021, she turned to her family for strength and comfort. Her husband, Dan, accompanied her to ALS treatment center visits and to many Chapter events and her sons, Zachary and Ethan, supported her in every way that they could as they look for every opportunity to fill their lives with love and good memories.
On New Year’s Eve, Stacy and Dan chose to renew their vows during a family trip to Cabo San Lucas to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. To make the moment even more special, their 19- and 23-year-old sons got “ordained” online so that they could perform the marriage.
Thank you, Stacy and Dan, for inspiring all of us with your loving commitment to each other.
Read more special Valentine’s stories below about how love continues to bring strength to those affected by ALS.
A Loving Tribute
Christine Moretti has been an active advocate and volunteer with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter ever since she was diagnosed with PLS, a form of ALS. Her loving husband Al is always by her side at Chapter events and when she meets with lawmakers to share her story.
The love and commitment that Christine and Al have for each other has left a big impression on their sons. On April 1, 2023, their son Jeremy is getting married to his fiancée Kristina. His parents’ example inspires him to use this momentous day to give back to the ALS cause.
In lieu of favors for the guests, Jeremy and Kristina will be donating to The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. They will also be asking guests to donate to the ALS cause.
While ALS is personal to Jeremy, it’s also personal to Kristina. Her father’s best friend passed away from ALS. The ALS connections at the wedding continue as one of Jeremy’s best friends lost his uncle to ALS, so his 2-year-old daughter will be a flower girl in the ceremony.
Since Christine’s diagnosis, the Moretti family has taken the love they have for each other and turned it around to lift all families affected by ALS. To learn how you can make the ALS cause part of the special events in your life, email Kelsey@alsphiladelphia.org
Preserving a Legacy
Mike Masko recently lost his beloved wife Ellen after her battle with ALS. He remains grateful to the Chapter for providing care and comfort every step of the way.
Ellen was an accomplished artist and Mike is reminded of her beautiful talents every day as her art adorns their home. Her paintings are an expression of the love she had for life and now Mike is sharing them with the world as a way to share the love he has for her.
Thank you, Mike, for lifting up your wife’s memory through her art so that we can all continue to appreciate her vision of the world.
A Tour of a Lifetime
Colleen Van Natta understands ALS far too well. In 2009, her husband was diagnosed with the bulbar form of ALS. She first knew that something was not right when her husband was experiencing frontotemporal dementia and then she saw his symptoms quickly progress. Colleen’s husband was a strong former football player and his family and friends were shocked to see how his body changed due to ALS.
When her husband passed away from ALS 13 months later, Colleen thought that ALS was out of her life forever. That changed when Colleen herself was diagnosed with the same bulbar ALS in January of 2022.
Throughout her life, Colleen relished sharing her musical talents with the world. She performed in musicals like Into the Woods and at events like Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA and she taught music for 30 years. When her ALS symptoms began and she was diagnosed, Colleen understood what kinds of symptoms she could expect.
Colleen has decided to embrace and savor all of the moments in life. Instead of focusing on what ALS is doing to her, she announced that she is going on tour, not to perform, but to experience the world and enjoy time with family and friends. Since she was diagnosed, Colleen has attended several concerts and shows and trips to Disney World, the Outer Banks, Vienna, Germany, Hungary, Bahamas and Key West. “ALS has taken my music, voice and hands, and it’s what I miss most,” said Colleen.
Thank you to Colleen for inspiring all of us to appreciate every moment and to live life to the fullest.