Williams Lake resident Leo Rankin will be running a marathon Saturday in support of ALS

Williams Lake resident Leo Rankin will be running a marathon Saturday in support of ALS

Rankin running marathon for ALS

Team Rankin was formed to honour the memory of my brother, Ron Rankin, who was carried off by ALS three years ago.

Team Rankin was formed to honour the memory of my brother, Ron Rankin, who was carried off by ALS three years ago.

My brother Ron was an electrician who worked at West Fraser Mills. He was a fun, active guy whose time came way too early.

I walked last year in Kamloops with my niece and her family and I am walking again this year with her in Vernon. As well, I am walking in Williams Lake.

This is the first year for a Williams Lake walk and it is being organized by Heather Robertson and Eileen Campbell

About five per cent of families afflicted by ALS have a direct genetic link. In these cases there is a high chance that other members of the family will come down with ALS.

Unfortunately, another member of my immediate family has been exhibiting ALS-type symptoms. The final diagnosis will not be complete until later this summer.

However, having another family member potentially stricken by this disease has brought it home to me how urgent it is to find a cure for this disease.

I dislike fundraising, as I believe many people do, since it is difficult and somewhat embarrassing to ask people for help.  However, it is a necessary evil in our effort to deal with the many problems of life which need to be addressed. I have run quite a few marathons, but I have never used this recreational (some people would not call it recreational) pursuit as a means to fundraise for a cause. However, in this case, I think I need to put it out there.

I am going to run a marathon on the Williams Lake Secondary School track on June 23, the morning of the ALS Walk.

It should take me approximately five to six hours. I am hoping that my investment in time and effort will inspire people to contribute to the Walk for ALS in Williams Lake and to the Team Rankin site. People can come out and cheer me on at the track or run with me or make pledges during my run.

I want to raise as much money as possible in order to find a cure for this devastating disease. Some of the money raised will also go to support those living with ALS in our community.

You can donate by hitting the ‘Sponsor Me’ button for Team Rankin after accessing the Williams Lake ‘Walk for Life’ site. The link to the site can be reached through www.walkforals.ca. From there select B.C. for province and Williams Lake for ALS Walk — then search for Team Rankin.

Some information on ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous American baseball player who died of ALS in 1941. ALS is a progressive and ultimately fatal neuromuscular disease, which has no known cause, cure or drug therapy of consequence. Individuals who are diagnosed with ALS do not typically survive beyond three to five years. This devastating disease slowly robs the individual of the ability to walk, talk, and ultimately, to breathe.

ALS facts:

• Two to three Canadians a day die of ALS.

• Approximately 3,000 Canadians currently live with ALS.

• In at least 90 per cent of cases, ALS strikes individuals with no family history of the disease.

• Between five to 10 per cent have a familial form of ALS, so two or more of their family members have it.

• ALS can strike anyone, regardless of age, sex or ethnic origin.

• The usual age of onset is between 55 and 65, but some have been younger than 20.

• Nearly 90 per cent of people with ALS died within five years of diagnosis. While some live longer, others die within a few short months.

• ALS affects the whole family.

• ALS is a costly disease — emotionally, physically, and financially.

For more information on ALS, please visit www.als.ca. Or to register for the walk please go to www.walkforals.ca.

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

Just Posted

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Women’s Contact Society community liaison Eileen Alberton with her dogs Luigi, left, and Sami enjoys a daily walk in Big Lake. (Photo submitted)
Women’s wellness focus of International Women’s Day events in Williams Lake

In its third year, the event will be offered virtually

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read