October 19, 2009 in City

Millwood community helping make house livable for ALS patient

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

Linda Alderman chokes back tears as she talks about the many volunteers who have helped paint and remodel a 1928 home in Spokane Valley for ALS patient Jenny Hoff. When the house is ready for Hoff, “it’s going to be a real emotional thing,” Alderman said.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

How to help

Contributions to a charitable fund for Jenny Hoff may be made to “Pennies for Jenny” at any Numerica Credit Union.

Archive video

Lessons in life: As she lost the use of her limbs, Jenny Hoff gained the friendship of neighborhood children who wanted to help her with household chores.

Since she was diagnosed with ALS in April 2006, Jenny Hoff has raised more than $30,000 for organizations dedicated to fighting the neurodegenerative muscular disease. Now people are doing something for her.

As her amyotrophic lateral sclerosis progresses, Hoff’s rented Millwood home has become less and less accessible. So friends stepped up to find her a new place to live, a historic home owned by Millwood Community Presbyterian Church.

But before she can move in, the East Dalton Avenue house has to be remodeled.

“This is God’s work here,” said Moe Alderman, a general contractor who has taken time off from his business to make Hoff’s new home wheelchair-accessible – widening doors, enlarging the bathroom and the like.

In June, Alderman and his wife, Linda, attended a service at Valley Real Life Ministries. On that particular Sunday, the pastor was showing a video about Hoff, 51, a member of the congregation who refuses to let a terminal illness alter her cheerful outlook on life.

Alderman recognized Hoff, whom he had known many years earlier, and he and his wife wanted to do something to help.

When Millwood Presbyterian was approached, the congregation not only allowed the home to be made accessible, but also donated money to the effort, Alderman said.

United Plumbing Inc., Barton Boys Heating, Hilarious Doughties Inc., Radiance Electric, Majestic Wood Floors, Beyond Floors, Lowe’s and Columbia Paint in Spokane Valley also chipped in.

“Some guys from Truth Ministries (homeless shelter) helped remove 2,000 pounds of lath and plaster,” Alderman said.

Alderman added that he could use some carpentry help building a wheelchair ramp.

Hoff said she was moved by the outpouring of generosity.

“It’s amazing that now, in a time of huge financial crunch, they are donating everything,” she said.

But the Aldermans say it is Hoff who has “touched so many lives.”

Recipients of her fundraising efforts include the ALS Association’s Evergreen Chapter, the ALS Therapy Development Institute and the Spokane ALS Service Organization.

Her second annual spaghetti feed, Sunday at Aracelia’s Restaurant, 7905 E. Trent Ave., will raise funds for ALS awareness.

An estimated 30,000 Americans have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. The average life expectancy for someone with ALS is two to five years from diagnosis.

Work on Hoff’s new residence is expected to be completed by Nov. 1.

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