It was an overcast and cold day but Team Martel was in high spirits for the 2016 Walk to Defeat ALS! And, thanks to your generosity, we surpassed our fundraising goal!
THE 2017 WALK TO DEFEAT ALS
This year's event will mark our 10th anniversary of walking and fundraising for this worthwhile cause. Many of you have been on this journey with us for all of those years and we appreciate your sustained support! Please consider joining us at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL, on Saturday, June 3.
WHY WE PARTICIPATE
We participate in memory of Adele's Mom, Helen, who was diagnosed at the age of 41 with ALS.
At the time of her diagnosis, Helen's children were 7, 16, and 18. Her husband was the General Manager of a clothing factory in Maine, an important and very busy time in his career. As a Mom in the 60's and early 70s, Helen was the consummate volunteer, helping to reopen and run the school library, coordinating classroom volunteers, and running school fundraisers (she would prepare and cook 500 meatballs for spaghetti suppers). As an Italian woman, she felt great pride and joy in her family and she heartily welcomed everyone into her home. In the spring of 1970, she was diagnosed with ALS and was told she had one year to live.
Helen gradually lost her abilities to cook, walk, write, talk, and care for herself; but, as typical with ALS, her mind remained sharp. Without the benefit of the internet, she learned about experimental treatments and had us write letters to others with ALS. Her spirits certainly waned at times and occasionally she wanted to give up, yet she persisted and contributed to the family. She even got to hold her first grandchild who referred to Helen as "Nena". All the while, her family was reeling at the impending loss of daughter/wife/mother. Helen died five years later, a few months after celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary.
Her legacy is well served by raising funds that are used to support patients, caregivers, families, and research.
Often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of an ALS patient averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis.
Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.
This crippling disease can strike anyone. Presently there is no known cause of the disease yet it still costs loved ones an average of $200,000 a year to provide the care ALS patients need. Please help make a difference and donate or join a walk today.
THE ALS ASSOCIATION
The ALS Association is a non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front by leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships. The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. The Greater Chicago Chapter of the ALS Association provides support and resources for ALS patients, their families, and caregivers living in the Greater Chicago area.