New Horizons Forum to feature speakers and film on ALS (AlfredState.edu)

Hearts for ALS New York is a non-profit organization seeking to educate and support those affected by Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease

The Alfred State New Horizons Forum scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, will feature the documentary, “Hope On The Horizon” and special guest speakers, Donna York, president of HARK, and Alfred State alum Debra (McQueen) Quinn, who will present on Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The forum will be held at 6 p.m. in the Cappadonia Auditorium of the Orvis Activities Center and is open to the public. Admission is free; however, donations will be gladly accepted at the door.

Created by HARK, a Hillsborough, NJ, charity that gives financial aid, medical equipment, and other support to families struggling with ALS, “Hope on the Horizon” is an inspiring 27-minute film documenting the incredible journey of four hikers trying to do what nobody has done before: scale 48 mountains in 24 days. They attempted to cover 250 miles of dangerous terrain in perhaps the bleakest wilderness of North America.

Four hikers started the journey and only two completed it, but not before taking Martin Wallem, an ALS patient, athlete and outdoorsman, to the top of the 46th peak. The odyssey through severe terrain is a metaphor for the hardships faced by ALS patients and their loved ones in dealing with this devastating disease. Anyone with a life-threatening illness will be inspired by “Hope on the Horizon.”

“This film is about hope in facing life’s challenges and courage in the face of one’s worst fears,” said York. “Patients with ALS and their families say the diagnosis is like embarking on a journey through a dark tunnel. The people of HARK, who have been down that tunnel, want to help others through the ordeal. Our mission is to change the way the world views ALS.”

Quinn, who holds a business management degree from Alfred State, began her fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) in October 2009. Upon researching her genealogy, she traced the disease through 13 generations of her grandmother’s family to the early 1600s, discovering more than 20 additional family members who suffered from ALS.

Quinn has brought awareness into her community, working tirelessly with the Hearts for ALS NY organization and speaking at local and national platforms.

The New Horizons Forum, sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences, showcases current scholarly, creative, and public service work by faculty, students, alumni, professional staff, and invited guests. It is guided by a campus-wide team of advisers whose goal is to enrich the intellectual life of the institution.

For more information, contact Forum Advisory Board member Erica Matteson at MattesES@alfredstate.edu.

(Article originally hosted by Alfred State: http://www.alfredstate.edu/news/2015-04-22/new-horizons-forum-feature-speakers-and-film-als)