ALS Canada highlights the 2023 ALS Canada Kevin Daly Bursary recipients

For Sarah Jacob, furthering her studies in neuroscience means more than just receiving a degree. Sarah, a master’s student at the University of Calgary, began studying neuroscience during her undergrad, having had a general interest in the subject. Following her mother’s ALS diagnosis in 2018, her passion for neuroscience intensified – specifically ALS research. “I want to be part of the ALS research community that is fighting to know more about the disease to find a cure,” she says.  

As one of the three 2023 ALS Canada Kevin Daly Bursary recipients, Sarah’s time as a student is not only spent studying but also navigating her mother’s diagnosis and her new role as a caregiver. An ALS diagnosis impacts more than just the person receiving it – influencing the daily lives of friends and family and creating new realizations, values, and goals. “Ever since my mother was diagnosed with ALS, it has been the focus of my life,” Sarah explains. “It was very difficult to watch how fast she progressed with her disease. It has made me realize the importance of working towards finding a cure because of how much ALS takes away from the things you are able to do – which is why I became involved with research and studying ALS myself.” 

A member of the ALS Club at the University of Alberta, Sarah strongly believes in raising awareness and educating others about the relentless disease. “There may be people that are touched by the realities of ALS so much they want to get involved with the ALS community, helping to further our efforts and advancements.” For her, sharing her story is her power. For her, it means a community connection – support from hearing you are not alone can provide relief from feelings of isolation. “Receiving this bursary is a great honour as I feel my story is heard, especially with everything going on with my mom.” 

Through support from the ALS Canada Kevin Daly Bursary, we foster connection, recognize the challenges people face when a family member is impacted by ALS, and encourage their journey to further their education and become influential players in the work toward a future without ALS.