News & Stories

Living Her Best Life

The mission of ALS United Mid-Atlantic is to Unite and Empower the ALS community and Jessica Cassium is showing just how empowered people with ALS can be through her amazing and inspiring adventures that include an unforgettable ziplining trip.

At our 2022 Annual Celebration, Jessica shared her experiences living with ALS as part of a “Tribute to Caregiving.” In her talk, Jessica explained how caregivers, including family and friends, make sure that she can live the best life possible.

Jessica lives in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and her journeys across the country surprise and delight everyone, including her care team at the ALS Treatment Center at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

“When I was diagnosed with ALS, I didn’t focus on the fact that this illness is fatal,” said Jessica. “I was thankful that I finally got answers and focused on how I can live my best life going forward.”

This past fall, Jessica took a new leap in her when she went ziplining at Camelback Mountain Adventures in Tannersville, PA. Jessica had wanted to zipline years ago, but was unable to make time to do so. Now, with her ALS symptoms continuing to progress, she hoped she would still be able to accomplish her goal.

Thankfully, Jessica has friends and family to support her along the way. She calls her friend Kathy Norton her partner in all things fun. Kathy helps Jessica stay balanced, from spending time binge-watching TV shows to crocheting blankets to stopping by Camelback on a whim, which is what they did this Fall.

Kathy reached out to Camelback to see if they would be able to accommodate Jessica and the staff were enthusiastic to help. Jessica and her 24-year-old son Brenton joined Kathy for a trip to Camelback, where they met with Captain Burke and his team of professionals. When Jessica had stopped by the resort the year before, Captain Burke was there to answer questions, so she was extra happy and at ease to have him there to assist.

After the team got her situated and in place, Jessica experienced the thrills and fun of flying through the air on the zipline. Thanks to her friends, family, and team, she was empowered to do what she set out to do and soar through the sky.

“Adapting to the changes and challenges that ALS has presented isn’t always easy but I still manage to do a lot of what I used to do,” said Jessica. “I may move a little differently, and I may be slower now, but with some help, I still get the job done!”

Thank you, Jessica, for inspiring the world by living your best life every day.

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