On Sunday, Jun. 11, 2023, the ALS Society of Canada’s Walk to End ALS will take place at Lake Ontario Park. The five-kilometre walk, along with other walks happening across the province, raise funds to support critical ALS research across the country and enable the ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada) to provide community support to people and families living with the disease in Ontario.
June is ALS Awareness Month and, all month, in-person and virtual events will take place with a fundraising goal of $1.9 million. But, according to ALS Canada, the Walk to End ALS is more than a fundraiser.
In a media release, ALS Canada said that the walk is a safe space and family-friendly event for community members to honour loved ones lost to the disease and support people who live with or are affected by ALS daily. Forty per cent of proceeds are directed to the national ALS Canada Research Program where they are invested in the best ALS research in Canada, awarded annually following a peer-reviewed competition.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an unrelenting and currently terminal disease. According to the release, it gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body which we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow and, eventually, breathe. More than 3,000 Canadians live with ALS and approximately 1,000 Canadians are diagnosed each year. Four out of five people living with ALS will die within two to five years of their diagnosis.
In participating provinces, 60 per cent of proceeds are used to provide community-based support to people and families living with ALS, according to the organization. Support varies by province based on the gaps within the health-care system, and can include educational information, referrals to local health care and community services, equipment assistance, home visits, and support groups.
Here in Ontario, funds go towards community-based support, including helping people living with ALS:
- Navigate the health-care system with support from ALS Canada Community Leads, who work with families one-on-one;
- Get access to trusted information about ALS;
- Receive much-needed assistive equipment from the ALS Canada Equipment Program, and;
- Connect with others who are living with the disease through support groups.
“Canadians affected by ALS are at the heart of everything we do at ALS Canada,” said Tammy Moore, CEO of ALS Canada. “The Walk to End ALS is a testament to our mission to improve people’s lives affected by ALS through community support, advocacy, and research. Taking part in a Walk reaffirms our community’s commitment and solidarity in bringing awareness to this devastating disease. We hope this year will be one of our most successful years yet as we work together towards a future without ALS.”
By registering to walk, fundraising, participating virtually, or donating, your support in the ALS Canada Walk to End ALS provides hope to the people who live with the disease and enables some of the world’s leading ALS researchers to take an extra step forward in finding a cure for ALS.
The event at Lake Ontario Park begins at 9 a.m. with registration. The walk itself starts at 10 a.m. For more information on the local event or to donate, visit https://alscanadawalktoendals.als.ca/ontario/Kingston. Create a team, join virtually, or walk individually with family and friends while working towards a future without ALS!