ALS Canada announces 2023 Kevin Daly Bursary recipients

The ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada) and the Kevin Daly Bursary Fund are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 ALS Canada Kevin Daly Bursary, granted to post-secondary students who share a personal connection to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The ALS Canada Kevin Daly Bursary is a national program for eligible students who have a close connection to ALS: those whose parent(s) or legal guardian is living with or has died of ALS – a fatal neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive paralysis and, eventually, the loss of the ability to move, speak, and breathe. Amongst many challenges, families impacted by ALS often encounter financial hardship due to the significant costs associated with ALS.

The Bursary program is supported by the Kevin Daly Bursary Fund, established in 2023, which honours ALS community member Kevin Daly, diagnosed with ALS in 2020, and his commitment to ALS families. Funding for this initiative is raised through the Bursary Fund campaign with donations managed by ALS Canada and the TELUS Team Care program. The campaign awards a minimum of one $2,500 bursary annually to help offset the expense of pursuing post-secondary education.

“Empowering students affected by ALS with this bursary not only eases their financial burdens but also sends a powerful message of a community connected and an understanding of the realities children face when a family has been impacted by ALS,” says Tammy Moore, CEO, ALS Canada. “Through the generosity of the Kevin Daly Bursary Fund, we are so grateful to be able to provide support to young community members touched by ALS from across Canada as they continue toward their educational goals, forging a path of resilience.”

2023 Recipients

Catherine Brassard is a 22-year-old medical student at the Université de Sherbrooke. After her father’s ALS diagnosis in early 2023, Catherine developed an interest in neurology and embarked on a journey to cherish each moment, both at home and in the classroom.

“As a future doctor, I hope that my patients can also find, in my toolbox, what is best for them in coping with grief,” says Catherine. “Receiving this bursary represents a source of comfort in a particularly difficult period, as it eases an emotional and financial burden. Having proof that my difficulties are recognized and supported encourages me to cultivate my resilience. I strive to maintain good mental health so that I can give my loved ones the best of myself.”

Daniella D’Amici, a 23-year-old biomedical engineering student at the University of British Columbia, defies adversity. Navigating her father’s ALS diagnosis in 2022, Daniella continues her studies while shouldering the role of caregiver alongside her mom and sister.

“I struggle most with the mental impacts of the disease; it is confusing and frustrating to wrap your head around a disease that has no known causes or cure. Although dealing with ALS has been painful in every way imaginable, it has brought my family closer than ever,” says Daniella.

“My father’s ALS diagnosis has pushed my independence and resourcefulness,” says Daniella. “In the face of life’s uncertainties, this bursary provides a crucial anchor of security.”

At just 22 years old, Sarah Jacob, a neuroscience student at the University of Calgary, stands as a beacon of determination. With her mother’s ALS diagnosis in 2018, Sarah has balanced her studies with caring for her mother. As a Master’s student, Sarah is studying ALS focusing on identifying potential biomarkers.

“In the course of my post-secondary education, I’ve heavily depended on student loans,” says Sarah. “This bursary offers a financial cushion that will alleviate the burden of relying on these loans.”

Applications were reviewed by a panel appointed by ALS Canada, including the Kevin Daly Family and other members of the ALS community.

“We are excited to have helped create the ability to assist young adults in navigating the impact of ALS,” says the Daly family. “We are privileged to play a small part in supporting their post-secondary journey and look forward to helping more students in the years to come.”

ALS Canada and the Daly Family congratulate these remarkable individuals for their resilience, academic dedication, and unwavering spirit in the face of ALS-related challenges. Their journeys epitomize the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity, inspiring others along the way.

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For more information, please contact:
ALS Society of Canada