Sophie Rubin, a 13-year-old seventh grader at Ridgeview Middle School, is fighting ALS in a big way. In honor of her grandmother, “Nanny,” Rubin took up the challenge to raise both awareness for ALS and funds to support The ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles.
This past September, Rubin created her own ALS fundraiser, which she named “Nanny’s Nation.”
Jacki Pearlman (Nanny) was diagnosed with ALS in early 2017, almost a year after she began experiencing symptoms. As it so often does, the disease progressed quickly, and Jacki Pearlman lost her battle with ALS this past March.
In memory of her Nanny, Rubin set out to raise funds to support the fight against ALS by selling ALS awareness bracelets for a dollar to her friends, family and classmates. Word of her efforts spread quickly on social media and soon everyone was sporting her bracelets. Her initial efforts raised $800, inspiring Rubin to continue her fundraising and increase her goal to $10,000.
“I started Nanny’s Nation because I didn’t like that I couldn’t do anything to help her even though she was really sick,” Rubin said. “So, I thought of ways that I could help people like her and families like mine.”
Rubin surpassed her goal just in time for the ALS Awareness Month of May. The funds raised by “Nanny’s Nation” were donated to The ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter to support nearly 700 people living with ALS and their families, while the chapter continues to support efforts to find treatments and a cure.