Giving Tuesday 2018

2018 has been a year of promising discoveries and encouraging clinical trials, but ALS continues to rob countless moments from too many families – families like the Corbers who know all too well the gaps ALS can leave in people’s lives. Today, on Giving Tuesday, every donation to ALS Canada will be 100% matched by a group of generous donors, up to $10,000. By selecting ALS Canada as your charity of choice on this global day of giving, you can help keep hope alive this holiday season. This is why it matters…

Jonathan Corber’s story

Jonathan Corber always shared a strong bond with his mother, Wendy. Growing up around the holidays, Wendy would make her famous mandle bread, a traditional Jewish cookie similar to biscotti. Sitting around the kitchen table watching his mother bake fostered fond memories of sifting flour, shaping logs of dough and cutting long, thin slices still warm from the oven.

In 2016, everything changed. Wendy was diagnosed with ALS, a disease that takes so much from people, families and loved ones. For Wendy, ALS robbed her of her independence – the ability to use her arms, her legs, and eventually her voice. For Jonathan, ALS took his best friend.

Jonathan Corber hugging mother, Wendy in her wheelchair“My mother was instrumental in my life and someone I always looked up to. I aspired to be like her in all her selflessness. Even when I moved out of my parent’s home, I would call my mom every morning on my way to work and every evening on my way home. It was something I cherished and I miss her voice every single day.”

When Wendy was diagnosed, Jonathan became one of her caregivers alongside his wife and father. While transitioning to the role of caregiver was a challenging one, Jonathan cherished the responsibility and opportunity to give back to the woman who gave him so much.

“My mother always put everyone ahead of herself and never expected anything in return,” he shares. “Knowing that she trusted me to care for her was rewarding, and I was able to spend more quality time with her up until the end.”

Wendy passed away in January 2017. In coping with his grief, Jonathan decided to get involved with ALS Canada as an Ambassador, sharing his mother’s story and raising awareness for the disease that became a big part of his family’s life.

“The holidays remind me of how important it is to be surrounded by family and those you love,” he says. “ALS became such a large part of my family’s life, and ALS Canada was there for us throughout the entire journey. To me, making a gift to ALS Canada is a way to ensure people like my mother maintain a quality of life with a disease that takes so much away.”

This holiday season, Jonathan will be making his mother’s mandle bread recipe for his wife and new baby boy, whom he named after his mother.

“I can’t make it as well as she can, but it’s very close,” he says fondly. “Being able to share this tradition with my own family always brings up good stories about my mom. It’s my way of honouring her memory and the relationship we had. It’s my way of keeping her alive.”