It’s only right that you’d ask where your very kind donations go, and how they’re used. So we asked! Here’s what they sent us. The names quoted by Merlin are all real-life examples.

The ALS Association

  • $10 (£7.50) will cover the cost of a gait belt so someone with ALS can move and transfer more safely.
  • $25 (£18.50) will pay for one hour of medical care and education for a family touched by ALS.
  • $50 (£37) will pay for in-home care so a family caregiver can attend their own doctor appointment.
  • $150 (£110) will pay for a day of care so a caregiver can go to work.
  • $250 (£185) will purchase a transfer bench or shower chair which can be repurposed for others with ALS.
  • $300 – $500 (£220 – £370) will pay for an additional battery for a breathing machine not covered by standard insurance.
  • $1,000 (£750) will pay the out-of-pocket costs for a communication device controlled by the eyes so the person with ALS can continue to communicate with their loved ones, friends and colleagues.

Merlin Centre

Respite Monday at the Merlin Centre

  • $8 (£6) covers the cost of an exercise session at the Centre. For Karen, who has Cerebral Palsy, attending these sessions gives her a chance to exercise to music and enjoy the feeing of inclusion without being defined by her disability.
  • $23 (£17) would pay for an hour-long oxygen therapy session. Chris uses oxygen therapy to help relieve symptoms of fatigue.
  • $40 (£30) pays for a whole day’s running for the volunteer–led transport service. For 80-year-old Kate, getting her husband Bernard to the Merlin Centre on her own is a struggle. The minibus service allows Bernard to attend his weekly therapy session.
  • $45 (£33) covers a Health and Wellbeing therapy session. For Sue, who is a full-time carer, receiving a message gives her an hour to herself to simply relax.
  • $48 (£35) will pay for a full day in respite. For Nick, this gives him the chance to get some DIY done, knowing his wife Claire is in safe hands.
  • Alternatively, $48 (£35) will cover a counselling session. For Jo, talking to a trained counsellor helps her understand how her Multiple Sclerosis can cause anxiety.
  • $60 (£45) pays the cost of a one-to-one physiotherapy session. For Angela, physiotherapy takes her closer to her goal of a cliff top walk with her husband.