May 10, 2017
EVENT DATE: May 07, 2017
This past May my close friend Brad was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This diagnosis is devastating to such an amazing individual like Brad and to those of us around him. I will be running a half marathon in Brad’s name and would like to raise research money.
About Brad and I:
Brad and I met in 2011 when I moved to Vancouver. He just turned 31 and now he is fighting and losing his battle with ALS. He is without a doubt, the most intelligent person I know. A professional engineer by trade, he has never shied away from a challenge, whether its coloring and cutting my hair, fixing his car brakes, or learning carpentry. He is a hard working and driven person who has carried me through many hardships in my life. I look up to him greatly and consider him to be one of my closest friends.
I know I am unable to control the disease that is killing my friend. Every day I am faced with the understanding I will have to watch him waste away and become a slave to his own body. I see his muscle function deteriorate and leave behind involuntary twitching. I see his hands waste away and cease to work at all. Soon I will see his legs and arms stop walking, he won’t be able to tell me he loves me, and he will be trapped in his body. However, I also know I can make a difference. I can raise awareness and assistance for the ALS Society.
I may not be able to save my Brad, but I may be able to help someone else’s Brad, whether it be their partner, their parent, their child or their friend. That is my goal and why I reach out to you all today. Please help me run when Brad can’t walk. Please help carry my spirits across the finish line. Please help me raise money to support ALS patients and to help beat it in the future.
ALS is a rare, neurodegenerative and rapidly occurring disease where the motor neurons controlling voluntary muscles die. Patients will lose their ability to control their arms, legs, and body. Eventually, the muscles of the diaphragm will fail and the patient will lose their ability to breathe without ventilatory support.
The majority of people with ALS die from respiratory failure within 3 to 5 years. ALS does not take away a person's senses, such as smell, taste, hearing and touch. They often maintain control of eye muscles and this can sometimes be used to aid in communication after the loss of speech. This disease does not affect cognitive function and patients become locked in their own minds, unable to speak and struggling to communicate.
The scariest part of ALS is that the majority of people (90-95%) who have the disease have developed it sporadically. This means they have no familial inheritance, but rather have simply had bad luck. ALS does not discriminate and can appear randomly in anyone from any walk of life. The cause of ALS is unknown and it is currently an untreatable and cruel terminal illness.
For more information on ALS, please see: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Amyotrophic-Lateral-Sclerosis-ALS-Fact-Sheet