Saultites – both those affected by ALS and those in support – laced up their shoes for the annual ALS Walk at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion on Saturday morning.
ALS Canada Northeast Ontario Regional Manager Tracey Galiza said the turnout for this event was so great this year they even ran out of t-shirts.
“It’s definitely a personal cause for people, so we see the same families coming back year over year, lots of times we see them wearing their loved ones pictures on their shirts, to memorialize them and to come together and support those going through it right now and it’s a great experience for the community and to support one another,” she said.
It’s also a cause close to her heart, as she lost her father to ALS at the age of 54. She said she thinks there needs to be more awareness and support for this terminal disease.
One walker at Saturday’s event was local MP Terry Sheehan, who was walking for his cousin, Ken Roulough, who passed away a number of years ago from ALS.
“It’s really important for the community to support each other,” he told SaultOnline.
Sheehan, who’s part of the ALS Caucus in Ottawa, said he thinks it’s important to bring awareness to this disease and raise funds to help find a cure.
“We’re going to keep working until this thing is finally cured,” he said. “Right now, we celebrate those in our past, those now and those in the future so we continue to fight together.”
Having experienced the affects of ALS, Sheehan said it feels amazing to see the community support.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” he said.
“The fact that they ran out of t-shirts means there’s a lot more people affected by ALS, but the fact that there’s this many people supporting, not just people affected by it directly, but also friends and family that came out as well.”
Galizia saidAll proceeds raised go to ALS Canada to support those living with ALS and fund research.