To help empower kids in the fight against ALS, The ALS Association is celebrating the third annual ALS Youth Action Day on Saturday, May 15. It’s a day where kids across the country can take the ALS Youth Challenge and use the power of their creativity to help raise awareness and critical funds that help researchers around the world look for treatments and a cure while enabling people with ALS to live longer, higher quality lives.
Since 2019, Kevin Heller -- a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran who was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 58 -- and his team #GiveEmHeller, put their hearts and souls into the nation’s top-grossing ALS fundraiser, the Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS and Walk.
While local conditions for events vary state by state, the priority is the safety and well-being of people with ALS, their families and caregivers, and our volunteers and staff. So while Walk to Defeat ALS® events may look a little different from place to place, the ALS community will creatively come together safely in local markets to honor a loved one with the disease, to remember those who have passed, and to raise awareness and critical fundraising support for the fight against ALS.
After watching his Aunt Christie battle ALS for more than nine years, twenty-one-year-old Ryan Wilson was determined to find a way to honor her fight and make a difference for the ALS community. So, he decided to ride his bike from Poughkeepsie, NY to Miami, FL to help raise awareness and funds for ALS research.
Just as ALS did not stop for COVID-19, the Walk to Defeat ALS® did not stop. The simple fact is, we can’t wait for COVID-19 to end before we walk. Instead, chapters across the country have been coming up with innovative ways to move this signature event into virtual spaces, creating new opportunities for our communities to come together in unity to keep building a world without ALS.
An ALS diagnosis is not only devastating to the person receiving it, but to their entire family, and kids are all too often the collateral damage. The disease forces many kids to pitch in as caregivers and often delay their educations. Kids who serve as caregivers often talk about feeling isolated and unsupported by their peer groups.