Hope Loves Company bikes 350 miles to raise money for ALS support

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 12:37 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Four people took on a challenge of riding nearly 400 miles on bikes to raise money for The Hope Loves Company, a nonprofit that supports children and young adults who have family affected by ALS.

ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This results in people losing the ability to speak, eat, move, and breathe.

Jodi O’Donnell-Ames and her husband Benton Ames founded the Hope Loves Company 10 years ago after knowing the struggles of loving and losing someone to ALS.

“His wife Tina died of ALS, and he had two young children, and I love my husband Kevin to ALS, and my daughter Aleena was 8 when he died,” O’Donnell-Ames said. “We had no resources for our children, so we started to write down what would have been helpful.”

Hope Loves Company offers free camps across the country, scholarships, virtual hangouts where people can talk about their experience, care packages, and retreats.

To continue to be able to offer that much need support to more people, they decided to fundraise in a big way.

On May 24, the couple set off to bike hundreds of miles, from New Hope, Pennsylvania to Love, Virginia in honor of those who can’t.

But they didn’t do it alone. A couple of friends, and avid cyclists, helped guide the way.

“It’s a blessing to be able to what little bit we can to show support for such a really important cause. Unfortunately there’s no cure for ALS yet but there’s always the hope that someday there will be a cure,” Elizabeth Crouse said.

They also had the support of others who believed in their mission by donating more than $10,000 to the cause.

And with every mile, came a little more hope.

“It just makes you feel like we are all connected,” O’Donnell-Ames said. “Everyone who rallied around us has really helped fuel this ride.”

If you would like to donate or learn more about Hope Loves Company, you can visit hopelovescompany.org