This weekend is Calgary’s ALS benefit. Calgary-area readers of this blog are invited (urged!) to head over to North Glenmore Park and “Run for Betty.” 20 years ago, Betty died from ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She was an avid runner before her illness. Like most victims of the disease, she passed away within months of her diagnosis. Her friends wanted to honour her memory, raise awareness of the disease, assist other people who become afflicted, and help search for a cure – so they started the annual fundraising-run/walk. Our mayor, Naheed Nenshi, has proclaimed June “ALS Awareness Month” here in Calgary.
You can do your part by coming out to cheer and support the runners. ALS is an incurable illness of unknown cause, always fatal, and it manifests itself with the complete loss of motor neurons. Within months, most people with ALS cannot walk, talk, use their hands, and eventually cannot breathe. Some of us have been able to hang on for years and years with slowly progressive variants – but that’s very rare. At least 90% of people with ALS do not survive past 3 years after their diagnosis. It can affect even the most active people (even beekeepers!) and even the smartest people (famously, Stephen Hawking). Do your part, if you can – hope to see you Sunday at 10 for the big event! I’ll post pictures afterwards… Meanwhile, if you’d like to support a great cause, here is a link to make it happen. I can tell you from my own experience, the ALS Society brought all sorts of equipment to my house to help me. This is a good organization.