Danny O’Reilly ’15
On September 21st, I walked with 3,331 people to help raise $551,667 for the ALS Association of Northern Ohio. The walk, which takes place yearly at Progressive Field, helps to raise money for the Northern Ohio chapter of The ALS Association. It also raises awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This disease, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, causes motor neurons to deteriorate which makes walking, talking, eating, and breathing difficult. The ALS Association aims to help those suffering from the disease by providing patients and their families with support and care services, and by funding research for treatments and eventually a cure for ALS.
The ALSA has seen a large growth in donations and walker participation in 2014 compared to earlier years. Since 2013, this year’s walk had an increase of 52 teams, 1,410 walkers, and $240,408 according to the manager for the Cleveland walk, Amy Heuer. Another reason for this upturn of support is the popularity of this summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge. The Challenge called for people to dump a bucket of ice on themselves to raise awareness for the disease. They had to post a video of it on social media, which was an instant sensation. Teenagers everywhere could not go on Instagram without seeing videos of their friends dumping ice on themselves for the sake of raising awareness. This has helped to raise over $115 million for the national ALS Association and spread invaluable awareness among the next generation of scientists and doctors.
The Walk to Defeat ALS will take place next September as well, and if you want to donate you can at http://www.alsa.org.