Last summer when her mother Deloris was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Jennifer Tranberg decided to plan a community fundraising event in conjunction with members of her son’s hockey team, the Sault Ste. Marie Pee Wee Major AA Junior Greyhounds. With so many special events competing for charitable giving, Jennifer wanted to come up with a novel idea that would capture everyone’s attention and provide an opportunity to raise awareness and money for ALS. She was looking for something fun and engaging and out of the ordinary. When she came upon the “You’ve been Flushed” campaign during an online search, she knew instantly the idea would turn a few heads.

The idea is simple. Organizers deliver a toilet on the lawn of an unsuspecting homeowner or the reception area or showroom of a local business. For the price of a donation to the ALS Society of Canada, it can be removed or placed on a friend’s yard or at someone’s workplace. For slightly more money, the recipient of this unconventional and attention-grabbing bathroom fixture can purchase “potty insurance” which guarantees that the toilet is permanently removed. According to Jennifer, most people opt for the insurance so that a friend with a wicked sense of humour (or a debt to settle) cannot pay to send it back!

Jennifer went one step further. She painted the toilet in the hockey team’s colours, and with the help of her husband, modified the toilet so that all that is visible from the toilet seat is a pair of legs sticking up in the air dressed in hockey gear including padded shorts, hockey socks, and ice skates. It makes for a comical scene that immediately has passersby wondering what this is all about. When asked if she received any negative feedback, Jennifer said, “They’re loving it. We’re taking pictures. The toilet even has its own Facebook page.” Since the start of the campaign, toilets have been popping up all over Sault Ste. Marie for a good cause.

Sadly, Deloris passed away last month. Her illness progressed even more rapidly than expected since the usual prognosis after an ALS diagnosis is two to five years. Deloris was the inspiration behind Jennifer’s remarkable initiative to bring attention to ALS, a disease that needs to be better understood and more widely supported given the extraordinary toll it takes on individuals and families alike.

Thanks to Jennifer and her support team, “You’ve been Flushed” continues so that Canadians living with ALS today and those who will be diagnosed with the disease in the future can be assured that ALS Canada is there to make a difference. By providing support and services to help ease the burden of ALS, conducting advocacy work on behalf of the entire ALS community, and funding Canadian research with the greatest promise to make ALS a treatable, not terminal disease, we are honouring the determination, generosity, and resiliency of families like the Tranberg’s whose lives have been changed forever by this devastating disease.

Fundraising proceeds from the You’ve Been Flushed campaign are shared between ALS Canada and the Sault Ste. Marie Pee Wee Major AA Junior Greyhounds.


Posted in: Fund Development