9th annual Janesville Walk to Defeat ALS - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

9th annual Janesville Walk to Defeat ALS

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JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- The ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter will host the 9th annual Janesville Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday, May 14 at Lion’s Beach Park. The event provides an opportunity to join the fight and bring hope to people with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. 

On Monday, Kate Brennan stopped by Wake Up Wisconsin to talk about the event.

Last year, more than 300 supporters brought their determination and energy to the Walk and raised nearly $50,000 in funds to benefit the Chapter’s Care Services programs. The money raised stays right here in Wisconsin, going toward equipment and services to benefit ALS patients and their families in and around Janesville.

Susan Sellman from Janesville became involved with the Wisconsin Chapter when her dad, a 79-year-old vet named Gerald Bass, was diagnosed with ALS. Susan decided to get involved in coordinating the Janesville Walk as a way to combat her feeling of helplessness. For four years, she’s called on everyone she knows to get involved including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who attended in 2014.

“Chairing the Walk, helping to fundraise, connecting with others who were affected by the disease, and educating the public on ALS has been incredibly meaningful,” said Susan. “Unlike other walks, there are no survivors participating in our events, because no one survives ALS. It remains the only disease with no known cause, no effective treatment and no cure. That’s why participation is so important.”

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival.

The Walk brings hope to local families who are living with ALS and a chance for individuals with the disease and their families and friends to spend a day with others in the ALS community. The day will include live music as well as food and beverages from local restaurants, ensuring a fun and positive experience for everyone.

Click here for more information.

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