This week we are starting a new series with the hope of allowing you to get to know the people who make up the ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter a little better. We are calling it “Chapter & Verse” because every person’s life is a story. This week we hear from Care Service Coordinator Mary Love, who joined the Chapter last spring.
Tell us about your role with the ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter. How would you describe it to a 4th grader?
My role with the ALS Association is Care Service Coordinator. I get the opportunity to work directly with those affected by ALS and their families. We connect them with our various programs that provide physical, emotional and financial assistance as well as outside resources available to this population. We are, as an organization, advocates in their corner as they navigate this incredibly difficult road.
What would people never guess you do in your role?
I don’t think people would guess that we trial equipment & tools personally try to gain an understanding of what someone who has to rely on these things every day might be going through. It pales in comparison, but we try to relate and understand these things on a better level to benefit people with ALS and their families.
What have you gained from working here?
I have learned so much working here. Not just about ALS but about non-profits, development and other community resources that exist to help people. I’ve gained a new respect for families affected by this disease and what they experience. To see what they go through and what caregivers do to support their loved ones is a very unique experience. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to help them.
What three traits define you?
I think I’m very driven, loyal and eager to please. I want others to be happy.
What is something you learned in the last week?
I bought a bicycle about a year ago and recently bought “clip in shoes” to go with it. I learned that you need to clip out before you can get off the bike!
Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
My position within a nutrition sales company was eliminated in early 2018. At the time it was quite a shock, but it gave me the opportunity to find what I really wanted to do. I knew I wanted to help others and work for a non-profit, I tried to be patient until the right opportunity came along and I’m very happy to be where I am today.
Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
I don’t know if I had much of a plan 10 years ago! I probably thought I’d be living either where I went to school working in healthcare or in my hometown. Very happy to have not ended up in either of those places!
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Relax! It’s a bit cliché but it’s absolutely true that it all goes by too quickly.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Learn to play a musical instrument (drums, guitar, piano) really well
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?
Tina Fey. She is my favorite comedian, writer and former Saturday Night Live cast member.
You’re happiest when?
I’ve had a really productive day, exercised, my house is clean and I get to sit down to watch something with my husband and our dog.
What is your greatest fear?
My biggest fear is that the effort I put in isn’t enough. I don’t like to let people or myself down.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Sometimes it takes a while but supporting my family gets me there. Then it’s coffee and breakfast.
Do you have a favorite quote, movie line or song lyric, and what is it?
A quote Anna, our Director of Programs and Services for Patient Care, turned us on to recently after I started comes from Brene Brown. She says: “Don’t look away from people’s pain”. This has resonated more and more with me the longer I’ve been here, both in professional and personal relationships. I think deep down we all just want to feel like we’re heard, and not looking away from what someone is going through is a simple way to help do that.
What is your guilty pleasure?
McDonald’s French fries. Or any other McDonald’s menu item.
Thank you Mary for sharing a bit of your story with us, and thank you for all you do for people with ALS in our community.