SLAM ALS is the brainchild of South Florida high school student, Madison Silver and her mother Deborah Silver. This is the latest and most ambitious of their family efforts to battle ALS, a fight that began in 2009, born out of a family crisis.
The story behind the SLAM starts with three sisters, Marjie, Debbie, and Sheri Berman, from Jackson, Mississippi. Close as can be, these sisters made their way to Los Angeles, living together until each one married and moved out. Each sister individually found success in her respective field: Marjie, as a television production manager and producer; Deborah, a jazz vocalist, recording and performing artist; and Sheri became a sales executive and business owner.
Marjie still resides in Los Angeles, Deborah now makes South Florida her home, and Sheri lives in San Diego. Though, separated by distance, they remain closer than ever.
An active mother of three and community volunteer, Marjie felt unusual symptoms developing. She began twitching, losing motor skills in her hands, dragging her foot, falling, and occasionally slurring her words. As each diagnosis came in, her family refused to accept what they were being told. After doctors insisted there was nothing more they could do, the family desperately resorted to ordering tests on their own, hoping and praying for anyone to tell them it was anything but ALS.
Finally, the harsh reality of Marjie’s diagnosis could not be ignored, and Marjie began her brave fight with her usual grace, dignity, and irrepressible smile. The elegant and courageous way she tackles this disease inspires everyone who meets her.
Since Marjie’s battle began, her family has rallied behind her and dedicated itself to fighting alongside all ALS patients. Her niece Madison, then 11 years old, felt compelled to help and launched her own website, hopeheARTbyMadison.com. With her brother, Spencer, she worked to produce several events, in total raising over $100,000 earmarked toward a cure for ALS. The apple clearly has not fallen far from the tree. One hundred percent of all sales for Deborah’s first solo CD goes toward a cure for ALS.
This mother and daughter team are determined to see a cure for ALS become a reality. Having always felt there is a reason for everything, Deborah believes that “perhaps this disease ended up in our family, because we simply will not rest until ALS is eradicated. It is our hope that SLAM ALS will fund the research needed to slam this deadly disease out of existence.”
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