Charity film creates awareness for nervous system disease

A screening of “Hope on the Horizon” is set to premiere at Drew University on April 4.

The film was produced and funded by the HARK, a charity that helps families with the burdens that accompany ALS. ALS is a crippling nervous system disease that eventually leaves patients without most of their motor functions.

Four hikers looking to raise awareness about the disease set out to conquer the 48 highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The film follows their adventure, as well as interviews others about their experiences with ALS, and investigates what can be done to help.

Any Seton Hall students are welcome to attend.

Donna York, president of HARK and a second-generation Seton Hall alumna, explained her motivations for creating the charity back in 2009.

“Most people have no idea how devastating a disease this is” York said.

Following the death of her father, she sought to ensure that others received aid in battling the disease.

“My dad taught me to be the best person I can be, to share the gifts that God gave me, to help others at every opportunity I’m given, to make a difference in someone’s life and to face life’s challenges with courage and dignity” York said.

Due to the costs of equipment, often not covered by insurance, ALS is commonly referred to as the “bankruptcy” disease. One family, whose husband and father has lost the ability to swallow, is being aided by HARK in paying the $1,500 monthly for the feeding solution needed to keep him alive.

York explained HARK’s goal is to alleviate the financial burden for families. The organization also acts similarly to the “Make a Wish” foundation and is also currently helping three mothers with their financial burdens.

The two-and-a-half-year project, “Hope on The Horizon,” looks to reveal some very sobering insights into the difficulty of living with, and helping those with, ALS. Through community and support, HARK asserts that even the most insurmountable tasks can and will be accomplished. Anyone who would like to donate or volunteer to aid HARK’s efforts are may contact Donna York at donna@hark-als.org or at 908-285-9202.

Abbas Khan Cook can be reached at abbas.khancook@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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