Cynthia Ward

Daily Point of Light # 3813 Sep 15, 2008

ALS is a progressive neurological disease that robs its victims of their ability to walk, talk, swallow and eventually breathe. Cynthia Ward is dedicated to the fight against ALS and uses her time and talents to assist with the Annual KAK ALS Golf Outing and Auction as well as other nonprofits and activities that enrich the lives of others in her community.

The ALS Association is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. It provides support and resources for the more than 30,000 ALS patients within the United States, their families and caregivers for free of charge. It also supports research into treatment and a cure.

Since 2001, Ward has single-handedly coordinated and hosted the Annual KAK ALS Golf Outing and Auction in honor of her Aunt Kak, a victim of ALS. Her efforts are tireless. Committed to drawing little assistance from the ALS Association so that it can focus on serving those stricken by the disease, Ward attains the cooperation of business, country clubs and other organizations; and recruits and organizes logistics for more than 80 golfers. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Ward’s husband, John Ward, says he knows firsthand how effective she is at luring family, friends and colleagues to support the cause. The result is an impressive event that brings needed aid to the ALS Association of Greater Philadelphia.

All funds raised by the KAK ALS Golf Outing and Auction help those afflicted lead better quality lives by, for example, providing transportation so they can leave the house even if they cannot drive; treatment centers and medical equipment so they receive proper medical care; assistive technology so they can communicate, even if they can no longer talk; research into a cure so they can have hope; and home care so they are safe and comfortable in their homes, and their loved ones can take badly-needed breaks from 24-7 care.

Ward’s colleagues at Aetna marvel that despite the hundreds of hours she dedicates to ALS, she always finds the time to assist others in their own charitable efforts. Causes relating to brain damage and local soup kitchens have benefited from Ward’s compassion and energy. Furthermore, she brings genuine enthusiasm and dedicates real great effort to encourage youth to get involved in society. According to Julie McKeever with the ALS Association, “she doesn’t talk about what should be done, she just does it; and in doing so is an example to others!”

Sadly, Ward’s Aunt Kak succumbed to ALS. Ward’s hugely compassionate response, however, has bestowed the highest honor on the beloved member of her family; Aunt Kak was the inspiration that brought out the best in another human being.