Sheryl and Ron Viher with son Patrick and grandson Thomas were joined by Esther Oschwald, Karen Jenkins and Monika Schlaepfer from the Horsefly Ladies Walking Club for the annual Walk for ALS in Williams Lake.
Ron has a sister with ALS, and Esther lost a brother Ernst to ALS in 2010. Between the Horsefly Ladies Walking Club and the Viher family $1,100 was raised for the ALS society.
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and there is simply no way to sugar coat the outcome of ALS. Average survival depending on different factors is 39 months from time of diagnosis.
Anyone who has been told they have cancer knows that initial feeling of shock; however, there is always hope that with treatment, survival is possible. With ALS it is only a matter of time until one becomes completely unable to function.
It is an extremely rare disease with no real known cause, and no cure. There is some evidence ALS is genetic in some families, but nothing can be nailed down as fact. It is a frightening prospect to say the least.
The B.C. Supreme Court has turned down every attempt by people with ALS to be allowed to have assisted suicide; the most famous B.C. case being Sue Rodriguez, who was assisted by another person with MP Svend Robinson present, and currently Gloria Taylor, another B.C. resident is petitioning the Supreme Court, but time is running out for her.
As I write this article, the BC Supreme Court granted Gloria Taylor’s petition, but now the federal Supreme Court has already stated it will not agree, and so it continues.