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Woman uses own ALS journey to raise money for community with crafts

Jan Ramey was diagnosed with ALS over 10 years ago and started Crafts for Hope, designing items for customers while raising money for ALS research and awareness.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Of the 25 teams who walked in the Walk to Defeat ALS in downtown Toledo Sunday, one was 'Jan's Hope,' supporting Jan Ramey who has ALS herself but uses her journey to help others through crafts.

Ramey was diagnosed with ALS almost 11 years ago. She said doctors told her she only had two to five years left to live. 

"I mean, I had a two-week pity party after coming home and this is bad and I just kind of said, 'This is not who I am," said Ramey.

Commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is a neuromuscular disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.

Now over a decade later, Ramey is still going strong with the support of her team and has now started her Crafts for Hope business.

"So I pulled myself up and tried to do something that could possibly raise money and that's kind of how my whole craft site came up," she said.

She said it started with stretch bracelets but now has expanded to all kinds of items, like kitchen supplies, baby items and blankets to name a few.

The funds, she said, are given directly to the ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter so they can expand research and spread awareness. She said this is the key to coming up with more long-term treatments for the 33 counties they serve.

Ramey also said while she can make a lot of things, not everything is possible due to her hands giving out more. She explained finding something you're passionate about is important to living a healthy life for others fighting the disease, too.

"You just have to find what works for you, don't give up, just keep going. Have your support system," said Ramey.

The Walk to Defeat ALS at Promenade Park Sunday morning had 100 participants and was able to meet its fundraising goal of $80,000, according to an organizer of the ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter.


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