The calendar may say something different, but in our hearts we know winter is soon to give way to spring, and that means the start of the Walk to Defeat ALS® season across the country.
The Walk to Defeat ALS® is a community event, and as such they take on the feel of the communities they are held in. Some are big, boisterous affairs, while others are smaller gatherings that almost take on the feel of a family reunion. Some take place in parks, some on city streets, and still others in or around stadiums. Some greet the morning sun while others see the gentle shadows of the afternoon. But no matter where or when they are held, the event is certain to leave you with a sense of the passion and drive of the ALS community, and an understanding of why we gather together to move us forward in the search for new treatments, and a cure.
“Walk to Defeat ALS® is the number one fundraiser for The ALS Association,” says ALS Association Walk to Defeat ALS Director Natale Raimo. “Dollars raised through these events support delivery of care services to people affected by ALS across 50 states, fuels advocacy efforts on a local, state, and national level, and accelerates the fight against ALS by funding critical research.”
The Walk to Defeat ALS® is open to everyone, and fundraising is just one of many reasons people participate. We asked several members of the ALS community to share why they walk, and here’s some of what they had to say:
“I walk because I will do anything I can to help other people not have to endure what my husband experienced having ALS!”
– Pat Kaplan, Team Kaplan Captain and Committee Member for Sarasota Walk to Defeat ALS®
"We participate in the Walk because of the family support. It means so much to both of us to see our family and for Johnnie to see his sisters. The people we have met at the ALS office and at events have been so supportive and helpful. Friends from church, from Facebook, Walk friends, etc. Each of them touch our hearts, that they come or donate to show their support for Johnnie. Meeting other people living with ALS and their families helps us to know it is not just us. There are so many and we are all in this fight together.”
– Connie and Johnnie Evans, Team Johnnie's Angels
“I walk because I was diagnosed with ALS in 2018. While I am blessed with slowly progressing symptoms, my hope lies in raising research dollars that can develop drugs that can extend my life!”
– Lina Watson, Team Captain Defeet ALS, Committee Member & ALS Hero
“I walk for my patients, their families, the caregivers, and everyone who is battling this horrible disease. The ongoing support from The ALS Association is imperative for the ALS community. Our participation makes a difference for not only the individuals living with ALS and their families, but also supports the ongoing need for research. The impact patients and families have made on my life will stay with me forever. Despite the struggles ALS patients endure, they have been the kindest and strongest people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Our clinic could not provide the care we do for our patients without The ALS Association.”
– Kayla Martinez, Team Captain, UnstoppaBULLS, and ALS Clinic Coordinator
This year, help us make ALS livable for everyone, everywhere, while we continue to fight to end this disease. ALS is a journey no one should have to make alone, and you can make a difference for people impacted by the disease by signing up today!
To find a Walk to Defeat ALS® near you, visit: WalkToDefeatALS.org.
To continue to follow stories about people living with ALS in the community and learn more about the disease, subscribe to receive our weekly blogs in your inbox HERE or follow us at als.org/blog. If you or someone you know would like to share a story with the ALS community, share with us HERE.