ALS supporters still walking to aid research and provide patient supports

Walkers in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Tri-Cities walk Saturday for an end to Lou Gehrig’s disease

Taking a walk on Saturday could really prove life changing – not only for the walker but for those currently and in future living with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Like many fundraising events across the country, the large, public Walks to End ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) held across Canada are not happening.

But what is happening is a virtual Tri-Cities/Ridge Meadows walk on Saturday, June 20 – the day before global ALS awareness day.

The goal for the local walk is to raise $38,000 this year. As of Thursday evening, the teams were only a quarter of the way to that goal, with just shy of $10,000 on the books – and half of that raised by Shawndra Forrest, who is walking in the regional walk in honour of her father, who was diagnosed with ALS about three years ago.

“The ALS Society has greatly helped my family with many of the issues that have arisen quickly over the last few years,” said Forrest, who’s personal goal is to raise $10,000.

RELATED: GoFundMe campaign raises close to $8,500 in two days for Pitt Meadows firefighter battling ALS

This event is the largest volunteer-led fundraiser for ALS Societies across Canada, and has been seen as a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate hope for a future without ALS, honour those we have loved and lost, and show support for the 3,000 Canadians and their families living with the disease.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the walks across the country are taking place virtually this weekend.

“Although we can’t walk together, we’re all in this together. Because ALS doesn’t stop, and neither will we,” said ALS executive director Wendy Toyer.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge author shares four-year story of grief, hope

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe. Eighty per cent of people with ALS die within two to five years of being diagnosed.

“Your fundraising efforts and generous donations support the best ALS research in the country (40 per cent of proceeds) and enable ALS Societies to provide community-based support (60 per cent of proceeds) to people and families living with the disease,” she said.

This year, funds raised for ALS research will be matched dollar for dollar by Brain Canada – up to $1 million, Toyer explained.

The Canada Brain Research Fund is a partnership between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada, designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments.

ALS can affect anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity or age. It most often affects people aged 40-60, with an estimated 3,000 Canadians currently living with disease, and an average of 1,000 a year dying.

The ALS Society of BC is dedicated to providing direct support to ALS patients, along with their families and caregivers, to ensure the best quality of life possible while living with ALS. This support includes an extensive equipment loan program, support groups, psychological support and educational materials. Through supporting research, we are committed to finding the cause of, and cure for ALS.

People can visit the walk website to register or donate.

.

________________________________

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Healthcaremaple ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Adrian Dix with NDP candidates Bob D-Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) and Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) at the Urgent and Primary Care Centre at Haney Place Mall. (Special to The News)
Dix visits Maple Ridge’s new Urgent and Primary Care Centre

There still aren’t enough doctors to staff facility – Meadus

Michelle Shipley shared these pictures taken of Pitt Lake this fall. “Such a beautiful area,” she said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Late fall reflected in the waters of Pitt Lake

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police boats were called in to search the Fraser River after a report that a plane had crashed where the river runs between Langley and Maple Ridge. (Shane MacKichan/Special to The News)
Investigation enters final phase, missing aircraft last seen over Fraser River in Maple Ridge

Small aircraft was carrying a student and instructor on June 6

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announces new infrastructure, flanked by Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows candidate Cheryl Ashlie and Maple Ridge-Mission candidate Chelsa Meadus. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
Liberals promise transportation infrastructure in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Wilkinson said his party would also add mental health beds at Ridge Meadows Hospital

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson announces an end to the ICBC monopoly if the Liberal Party is elected, during a stop in Maple Ridge. (Neil Corbett/The News)
BC Liberal Leader in Pitt Meadows for announcement

Wilkinson visits Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding seen as a key election battleground

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

The many faces of Daon Glasgow. (Photos: Surrey RCMP)
Glasgow found not guilty of trying to murder transit cop in Surrey

Transit Police Constable Josh Harms was shot Jan. 30, 2019 at Scott Road SkyTrain Station

Most Read