This year the People’s Drug Mart Walk for ALS in Williams Lake will be held in Boitanio Park on Saturday, June 14.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the walk will start at 11 a.m.
Williams Lake Walk for ALS co-ordinator Eileen Campbell’s husband, Hugh, was diagnosed with the disease in 2008.
And after feeling like they were battling the illness alone, Eileen decided to get involved with the People’s Drug Mart Walk for ALS through a friend in order to meet other people who were going through what she and her husband were also going through.
ALS is a degenerative disease that slowly affects mobility and speech. Upon diagnosis, a patient can live up to five years with the disease.
Hugh passed away in 2010 after a short two years of living with ALS. Eileen then decided to co-ordinate the Williams Lake walk in memory of her husband and to create awareness about the disease.
“Being part of an ALS walk in your community gives you a personal connection for people affected by ALS,” Eileen said. “It also provides the community at large the opportunity to help raise awareness and to find a cure for ALS.”
Eileen said she’s hoping to see at least 100 people take part in this year’s walk and has set the goal of raising $15,000.
This past Saturday, June 7, another member of the community who has been affected by ALS ran a marathon in Boitanio Park.
Leo Rankin, in honour and memory of his brother, who passed away from the disease, completed the task in four hours and 40 minutes. He said it was one of the most difficult runs he’s ever done.
“I misjudged the heat and became dehydrated towards the end … the combination of fatigue, dehydration and lack of salt caused me significant cramping in the last 10 kilometres,” Rankin said. “We raised a few hundred dollars on site … anything we can raise is an important contribution to dealing with finding a cure. I’ve nearly reached my personal target of $1,500 in donations for the Walk for ALS.”
The money raised from the event goes to patient services and ALS research (60 per cent patient services and programs and 40 per cent ALS research to find the cause and cure.)