Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, is a rapidly progressive disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscular movements. An estimated 5,000 are diagnosed every year in the U.S., making it one of the most common neuromuscular diseases worldwide. It typically effects people from 40 to 60 years old, and more men than women.
The Greater Philadelphia Walk to Defeat ALS came to Citizen’s Bank Park Nov. 3 along with thousands of enthusiastic participants eager to raise research funds towards and awareness about this neurological disease.
“These events are crucial because a lot of people don’t know…what Lou Gehrig’s disease is,” walk coordinator Ali Nielsen says.
Some 6,100 walkers raised roughly $640,000 dollars for the walk, the largest of seven events that the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia organizes.
Roger Kirk kicked off this year’s walk in the ballpark concourse surrounded by “Team Kirkin’ It”, one of this years top fundraising teams. At over 500 strong, this amazing group of people collectively raised over $60,000 in honor of Roger, who was diagnosed with ALS earlier this year. We were honored to meet Roger, and one of his biggest…or should we say littlest, supporters – his 2 year old grandson, Johnny.
You too can join in the fight to beat ALS by visiting the Greater Philadelphia Chapter’s website at alsphiladelphia.org. Be sure to tune in to Eye Opener weekdays from 6-8am to see more inspirational stories happening every day throughout our region! You can also follow up on Facebook and Twitter @EyeOpenerPhilly.