Hark's mission

Hark is on a mission to share the real story of ALS and to provide a network of compassionate resources for families.

Our Vision

Change the way the world views ALS.
Create a courageous legacy of support for families.

Hark is an organization founded by Donna Dourney York with family at it’s core. Donna and her 6 brothers and sisters journeyed through ALS together as they watched their father, Charlie “Hark” Dourney, courageously fight the disease until he lost his battle on
November 2, 2009.

How We Help

HARK provides assistance to alleviate the financial burdens faced by families battling ALS. We offer support in many ways including:

  • Purchased and donated a handicap accessible van to a pALS
  • Purchasing equipment not covered by insurance
  • Paying travel expenses for pALS to visit family or attend an important family event they would not otherwise be able to afford
  • Visit communities across the country sharing Hope on the Horizon increasing awareness of ALS and benefitting a local ALS family
  • Host Camp HLC, a free camp for children and grandchildren of ALS patients, with Hope Loves Company
  • Provide financial assistance for household expenses
  • Funding for the Elaine Stewart Tyrell Memorial Scholarship at Centenary College
  • Funding for the Captain Stanford H Shaw III Memorial Scholarship for military families battling ALS
  • Assisting families with children during the holidays

The Hark Legacy

 

Our Dad taught each of us, not by what he said, but by what he did, to be the best person we can be, to share the gifts that God gave us, to help others at every opportunity we’re given, to make a difference in someone’s life and to face life’s challenges with courage and dignity.

When he was diagnosed, a year and after his symptoms started, the doctor called and said, “I believe your father has ALS and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.” Our first thought was, that’s not something you want to hear a doctor say! Our second thought was, how bad can it be? What we soon learned was, it could be devastating! Slowly our father lost the ability to speak, swallow, talk, walk and breathe without help. We came together as a family, as we always do, to take care of him yet, even with 7 of us, it was difficult and, at times, we needed help, but we each took on a role and navigated our way through.

After he passed away I often thought, “What would I have done if I didn’t have my family, what if it was just me and I had to go through that myself, how would I ever have been able to manage? I would have been totally overwhelmed with no where to turn for help.”

 

Getting a diagnosis of ALS is frightening, you feel alone, you feel like no one understands, and there’s no hope. You don’t know where to turn, you’re embarking on a journey through a dark tunnel and you need someone to turn on that little flicker of light and say, “I’ve taken this journey, I’ll help you navigate your way through, I’ll be there with you every step of the way.”

Hark’s family is that Flickering Light of Hope.

Why the Hope on the horizon documentary?

The first step in “Changing the way the world views ALS” is to ensure that the world knows what the disease is and how devastating it is to families that are affected by it. As we navigated our way through ALS we realized the severe lack of awareness that existed about this disease outside of the ALS community.

Hope on the Horizon is not just about ALS, it’s about facing life’s challenges with courage and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds every day. The documentary will bring viewers a firsthand view of two sets of challenges simultaneously.

The challenges of negotiating the fragile beauty and rugged terrain of the White Mountains will serve as an engaging storyline used to teach the world about the true challenges and hardships faced by ALS victims and their loved ones in dealing with this devastating disease.

Through this film HARK will change the way the world views ALS, increase awareness of this fatal disease and raise funding to provide resources to ALS patients and their families that need assistance in facing a challenge far greater then the White Mountains.