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Mary Lyon, RN, MN Vice President, Patient Services

Annual Leadership Conference

To Whom It May Concern:

The ALS Association held its Annual Leadership Development and ALS Clinical Management Conference in Woodland Hills, California. The Clinical Conference is designed to help health care providers further their education of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through workshops, panel discussion, and networking opportunities with other health care professionals. This two-day conference explores the science and research of ALS; avenues of social support for people living with ALS, as well as their family members and caregivers; quality of life; and pulmonary care.

Terry L. Wise, J.D. was invited to speak at the General Session Keynote Presentation, which kicked off the conference. Ms. Wise, who was widowed at 35 following the death of her spouse from ALS and surviving a near-fatal suicide attempt, articulated the rarely heard insights through the eyes of an ALS caregiver. While people may not be able to control the course of ALS, Wise provided the audience with new understandings that will help alleviate its impact. She illuminated techniques to assist professionals who work with ALS families.

Ms. Wise’s presentation provided new perspectives on the impact of ALS, techniques to help break destructive patterns between patient and caregivers and skills to meet the needs of those affected by ALS and long-term caregiving.

The overall response of Ms. Wise’s presentation was unanimous – Ms. Wise gave an honest, insightful, helpful presentation by sharing her courageous story. Participants agreed that they would recommend Terry’s presentation to their colleagues as a useful and worthwhile session. To quote directly from comments we received:

  • Terry’s presentation was phenomenal! She presented the challenges of living and caring for someone with ALS with honesty, humility, humor and hope. There is life during and after ALS.
  • Terry was courageous and brave to share things that people are usually too scared to discuss. I commend her for bringing these topics to fruition!
  • Excellent presentation! Terry’s honesty and courage are to be applauded. Her perspective is a vital lesson for professionals.
  • Very moving. [Terry’s] story will help guide my practice. I will be better able to help patients and caregivers.
  • Terry Wise is an excellent and moving speaker, presenting with passion, humor and profound humanity.
  • A very sensitive, articulate, applicable presentation.
  • Invaluable! A wonderful, genuine talk!
  • Excellent! An informative and emotionally moving presentation.

The ALS Association is grateful to Terry Wise for her participation in the ALS Clinical Management Conference, and for sharing her personal story. She is a powerful and caring speaker.


Mary Lyon, RN, MN
ALS Association, National Office
Vice President, Patient Services