Giving - Office of Development and Alumni Relations

USF Health ALS Clinic patient raises funds to give back in honor of care through caregiver support calendar

In July 2021, Sarasota resident Julie Cook Downing was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Since then, she has been undergoing treatment through clinical trials at the USF Health ALS Clinic, but this hasn’t stopped her from continuing to passionately lead Caregivers Comfort Creations ®, LLC, an organization she founded to provide support to other caregivers caring for their loved ones, while also empowering and reaffirming them through support groups and personally created products.

2022 Caregiver CalendarSince becoming a patient at USF Health last fall, Downing has boasted about her uplifting and positive experience, starting with the valet attendants to her providers, including Jerrica Farias, APRN, associate director of the ALS Clinic. Because of her experience, Downing became inspired to give back to the ALS Clinic in honor of the care that she has received by donating a portion of her caregiver calendar sales to support research and patient care at USF Health.

Downing has more than two decades of experience in caring for others with neurological conditions as her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and her World War II veteran father was diagnosed with dementia. She is also a consultant for seniors to make sure they are placed in the appropriate residence to age well. In 2013, Downing created two caregiver support calendars, one for caregivers and another specifically for veterans’ caregivers, as a legacy to her parents. The two calendars provide resources for caregivers to easily keep track of their loved one’s appointments and medications, a note and to-do list section, as well as motivational and inspirational quotes.

2022 Veterans' Caregiver Calendar

The calendars and other resources provided by Downing and Caregivers Comfort Creations have helped and encouraged many caregivers, even in the most difficult times.

For more information about the Caregivers Comfort Creations’ fundraiser for USF Health, click here.

The 2022 digital and printable calendars are available for purchase now, and the 2023 calendars will be released in the coming months. To purchase your calendar, visit and enter the promo code “USFH” to benefit USF Health.

Story by Jessica Martinez, USF Advancement Communications & Marketing. Photo courtesy of Julie Cook Downing.