Under a bright sunlight, nearly 900 participants and volunteers gathered at Parc Maisonneuve for the 19th Montreal Walk to End ALS on Sunday, September 15th. While some were walking in honor of a loved one living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), others were walking in memory of those who passed from the disease. ALS researchers also took part in the event in order to show their support to the ALS community. Thanks to participants and generous donors, more than $125,000 was raised to support the ALS Society of Quebec mission, which is to provide programs and services to families touched by ALS and fund research.
All of you being here today proves that we are stronger together and form one big team to fight ALS said Claudine Cook, Executive Director at the ALS Society of Quebec, right before announcing the amount collected by this community effort to fight ALS, an incurable neurodegenerative disease with a 2 to 5 year life expectancy after the diagnosis. Despite the prognosis, participants walked in a festive and colorful atmosphere with the hopes of putting an end to this disease.
With an initial $115,000 fundraising goal, the Montrealâ€™s Walk to End ALS was the last of a series of 9 walks that took place throughout Quebec since the beginning of summer. Those walks aimed at raising awareness amongst the general public, and raising funds to support research as well as maintaining the quality of services offered to people diagnosed with ALS and their loved ones all over Quebec. 40% of the funds raised will be designated for cutting-edge Canadian research projects. Meanwhile, the remaining 60% will help support direct services offered to the people touched by ALS as well as their families, at all stages of the disease.
ALS by the numbers
- More commonly known as Lou Gehrigâ€™s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that attacks the bodyâ€™s nerve cells, and is usually fatal within five years;
- People living with ALS gradually lose their ability to walk, speak, swallow, and breathe. They become prisoners within their own bodies, without losing their intellectual faculties;
- In Canada, 2,500 to 3,000 people are living with ALS, including 600 in Quebec;
- For every new ALS diagnosis, 1 person dies of ALS;
- ALS can affect anyone: 90% of cases are random and 10% of cases are hereditary.
About the ALS Society of Quebec
The ALS Society of Quebec is a non-profit community organization that provides programs and services to families touched by ALS at all stages of the disease. Promoting, subsidizing, and advancing research on the causes, treatment, and cure of ALS are also integral parts of the Societyâ€™s mission, which survives on donations and proceeds from various fundraising events. For more information or to make a donation: als-quebec.ca