Support much appreciated in battle against ALS

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the 2012 ALS walk committee would like to say thank you so much for making this year’s walk a success.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the 2012 ALS walk committee would like to say thank you so much for making this year’s walk a success.

On June 23, we held our ninth annual Walk at Little Chief Park. Families and friends gathered to show their support in finding a cure for this fatal disease and raised just over $102,000. Money raised goes towards research initiatives in finding a cure as well as ensuring that people with ALS have the supports necessary to stay in their homes for as long as possible and to be able to communicate using state of the art communication programs and equipment.

Carla Falk is Central Alberta’s new client services co-ordinator and knows how much the support from this walk will help support Albertans. Carla’s colleague, Jane Rivest is well known to families in Central Alberta and she lives by the motto: “No is just an answer to a question not a solution to a problem,” and that is how they work with families.

The ALS Society of Alberta is a non-profit organization dedicated to making each day the best possible day for people living with and affected by ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). They achieve our vision by providing support, facilitating the provision of care, promoting awareness, helping find a cure and advocating for change.

ALS is a rapidly degenerative, always fatal neuromuscular disease. It attacks the nerves that the body would normally use to send messages from the brain to the muscle, resulting in weakness and wasting. The mind often remains completely alert and lucid. The result is often a lively, unimpaired mind trapped in an immobilized body.

ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, but that doesn’t tell you what the disease really is. ALS is a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disorder that causes the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As the nerve cells die, people with ALS lose control of their muscles in their arms and legs, it affects the muscles that allow us to breathe, making breathing, swallowing, talking and even smiling almost impossible. Imagine a life where you are not able to scratch your nose, wipe a tear, hug a loved one, take a deep breath or smile when your heart is full of joy. ALS robs people of these pleasures and more. The progression of this disease is extremely fast, with an average duration of three to five years’ life expectancy once a person is diagnosed.

As chairpersons of the 2012 walk, we have to say thank you to so many people and this letter doesn’t justify how much we appreciate your time, efforts, donations and dollars. And we recognize the loss that many have faced as loved ones have already lost the battle to ALS, while others are currently entrenched in the heartache that this disease brings upon so many families.

We are a small committee that works tirelessly for this very important, cause just as so many other Central Albertans do for a cause that is dear to their hearts. We are very fortunate to have the commitment of this group that believes in the hope that one day there will be a known cause and cure for ALS and until that day comes, we will carry on.

Red Deer ALS Walk Chairpersons

Deb Hansen

Michelle Parker

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