ALS Walk: Taking Steps to Find a Cure
Some of the folks taking part in the walk for ALS take time to stretch – photos 250News
Prince George, B.C. – Lots of purple at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park this morning as the walk to raise fund for ALS research and support got underway.“This is probably the biggest turnout we’ve ever had in Prince George, so it’s awesome” says Wendy Toyer, Executive Director of the ALS Society for the BC Yukon Region.
(at right Wendy Toyer poses with Lou Gehrig image)
Nationally, the goal is to raise $4 million dollars, and it’s hoped the event in Prince George can collect about $14 thousand towards that goal.
Toyer says research on ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is progressing “We had the big influx of revenue from the ice bucket challenge last year so now researchers are getting it further down, what I call the pipeline. So we’ve got some advanced research going on. Our Canadian researchers are collaborating, so it’s just a matter of time before there’s a break through. The Walks for ALS across Canada are a major fundraiser for research.”
Toyer says there are, at any given time, about 400 people living with ALS in B.C. Right now in Prince George, there are 7 confirmed cases of ALS, a neuro -degenerative disease which breaks down the communication between the brain and muscles, leading to loss of mobility, speech and eventually the ability to breathe.
Of the funds raised today, 40% will go towards ALS research, and the balance will go towards patient services and family supports which every family with ALS needs says Toyer “When ALS hits a family, in many cases the spouse becomes the care giver, and even though the person with ALS gets to a point where they can’t work, quite often what happens is that the spouse can no longer work. And the kids no longer have those parents who can support them in their sports or other activities.”