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Concert of Hope to Benefit MDA/ALS Center of Hope at Temple

News August 02, 2019

The ALS Hope Foundation, in support of the MDA/ALS Center of Hope at Temple, will host a Concert of Hope at the Media Theatre in Media, Pa., on Saturday, Aug. 3.

The concert will benefit the ALS Hope Foundation and the MDA/ALS Center of Hope at Temple, one of the first multidisciplinary ALS clinics in the country. Patients who visit the Center of Hope, directed by Terry Heiman-Patterson, MD, can expect to meet with a team that includes a neurologist; speech language pathologist; nutritionist; mental health specialist; respiratory, physical, and occupational therapists; and others to address every aspect of care.

“This concert is our way of recognizing and honoring the memory of Dr. Stephen Senderoff, an advocate of fellow ALS patients and their caregivers and a talented composer and scientist,” said Dr. Heiman-Patterson, Professor of Neurology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and President and Co-founder of the ALS Hope Foundation. “Stephen was instrumental in developing musical performances similar to the Concert of Hope, including three song cycles that were played at prior fundraisers and will be re-performed at this event. He sadly lost his life to the disease in 2016. This concert is a tribute to all he did to champion the progress made over the years with treating ALS as well as the research and work that still need to be done.”

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impacts nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. When motor neuron cells die, muscle movement is affected. A person may lose their ability to walk, talk, eat, and breathe. While treatment has advanced over the years, and there are now four U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications, there is no cure. According to the ALS Association, more than 5,000 people are diagnosed with the condition each year, and there are 16,500 Americans living with it. Its cause remains unknown.

Dr. Heiman-Patterson will perform on stage during the Concert of Hope with her husband Bob and son Justin, all accordionists. They will be joined by daughter Elizabeth, a singer with the Phénix Opera Company, based in San Francisco. Elizabeth Patterson, along with another soprano, and a pianist will perform pieces by well-known artists such as Mozart, Puccini, and Bernstein. An accordion sextet, the Ensemble of Hope, will round out the program with a Latin arrangement.