The mission of the St. Vitus Foundation is to help sufferers of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and their immediate families, in any way possible. 

We understand the tremendous upheaval and strain put on patients, caregivers, spouses, children and family members as a result of the unforgiving and debilitating disease of ALS.

The St. Vitus Foundation an organization focused on helping to support, nurture, educate and care for ALS sufferers, their spouses and families. 

You are not alone.  We are here for you.


St. Vitus

The Patron Saint of Nerve Diseases is St. Vitus ( pronounced Vits ), born in 291 in Sicily. He was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Most know the Saint through the phrase ” St. Vitus’s Dance” meaning people’s bodies ‘dance’ or jerk when the nerves are short circuiting and dying. Saint Vitus is the patron saint of dancers and of people with nerve afflictions. The nerve disease Saint Vitus Dance, or chorea, is named after him.


“ALS is a family disease.  This horrible illness impacts the sufferer, spouses, children, caregivers and countless others. ALS families need help in every aspect of life, and that is the purpose of our charity.”

— Phil kain, FOUNDER


We have lost loved ones to the disease of ALS.  We are biased.  We hate this disease.  But we love ALS patients and their families.  The despair and destruction of ALS is a call to action for all of us to help the ALS families to survive and thrive in the face of this adversity.

The disease of ALS takes the physical life of its host in a gradual declination of physical attributes, with no rhyme, no reason and no certainty.  Uncertainty is the rule when trying to predict or define ALS.  First and foremost, ALS is horrible for the person who has ALS.

But the disease of ALS is also cruel and unforgiving to the spouses and immediate families of the ALS patient.  Every aspect of their lives are impacted and effectively turned upside down.  Spouses, parents, children and siblings have to sit and watch their loved one deteriorate, every day, right in front of them.  All the while, knowing that the life expectancy is 5 years or less.  

There is the financial, legal, social, emotional and psychological toll that the disease takes on the spouse and family members.  It is absolutely brutal.  But from those challenges can spring the goodwill of all of us to lend a helping hand.  Please join us in our mission.

Caregivers of ALS also burdened by Disease.jpg

Quick Facts about ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.  When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them.  Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.

Every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people.

The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.  With recent advances in research and improved medical care, many patients are living longer, more productive lives. Half of all those affected live at least three years or more after diagnosis.  About 20 percent live five years or more, and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years.

ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.  ALS can strike anyone.


Get Involved

We need your help.  Please contact us to learn more about how you can help.  You can reach us via e-mail at

Our address:

St. Vitus Foundation, 125 S. Clark St., 17th Floor, Chicago, IL  60603

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