ALS walk will help raise money for an incurable disease

Published: Jun. 10, 2023 at 5:14 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - ALS has been damaging the lives of people for a long time, including those in Wisconsin. In the Chippewa Valley, a walk was held for those with this disease to help find a cure.

Ashley Yoder, Managing Director of Development, said that anyone can be diagnosed with ALS, no matter how old.

ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It knows no bounds, so people can be diagnosed at any age, at any time. The average life expectancy is 2-5 years. There are currently four treatments on the market to help with symptoms of ALS, but there’s no cure,” Yoder said.

David Lendle, a man who was diagnosed with ALS within the last six months, said that the walk was put on by the ALS association and helps a lot with raising awareness and funds for research.

Carol Lendle, David Lendle’s wife, said that the ALS association has been growing the last few years.

“They’ve been able to expand services and raise money for research because the life expectancy hasn’t really improved since Lou Gehrig died in 1941,” said Mrs. Lendle.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has been affecting the lives of people all around the globe for some time now. Yoder explained that there are cases of this disease everywhere.

“We serve about 500 people living with ALS in the state of Wisconsin right now, and there are over 25,000 people living with ALS across the United States at any given time. The walk here today, we’re expecting about 400 people to join us to support the community, specifically here in the Chippewa Valley,” Yoder said.

Mr. Lendle said that this disease can take a huge toll on someone, like him, who loves doing activities.

“Progression is most often very rapid, so over six months, I have lost a huge amount of weight and muscle, which has cut me off from most of my independent activity,” said Lendle.

The purpose of this ALS walk is to raise money and awareness to, hopefully, find a cure.