To warm up for the Williams Lake Walk for ALS this year, co-ordinator Chris Seibert is inviting everyone to a barbecue at Save-on-Foods, Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Money raised goes toward research to find out what causes ALS,” Seibert said, noting the walk will take place on Saturday, June 23 in Boitanio Park.
She said she was inspired to co-ordinate the walk for the first time last year because she and her husband Chris Seibert lost their son, Kirk, in January 2017 to ALS.
Kirk grew up in Williams Lake and went on to become an RCMP officer.
“It took a year for his diagnosis and he lived another 15 months,” she said of her son.
“He left behind his wife, two daughters and four granddaughters.”
Since her son’s death, Seibert said while ALS is prevalent, it is not heard about as often because the patients don’t live as long.
ALS, or amyotrophic laterals sclerosis, is a progressive neurodenerative disease for which they is currently no cure.
It affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that control the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe.
Presently there are 2,500 to 3,000 people living with ALS in Canada with a life expectancy of two to five years.
The cost to the average family over the course of the disease is $150,000 to $250,000 according to the ALS Society of Canada.
Praising the efforts of everyone who participates and helps with the walk each year, Seibert said it is the enthusiasm of the people involved that she appreciates.
“Many of them have been affected personally by ALS, whether it’s a family member or a friend who has had it.”
Seibert also receives help from the ALS Society of B.C., and said the assistance of Leo Rankin and Eileen Campbell in Williams Lake is also invaluable because they have been involved in the walk in previous years.
The check in time for the ALS Walk on June 23 is 10 a.m. and the walk starts at 11 a.m.
People can register early at http://www.walkforals.ca.