An awful disease that stops people in their tracks will get people moving Sunday.
The fifth annual People’s Drug Mart Walk for ALS gets underway at 11 a.m. in Polson Park, with registration at 10 a.m. in the fight against the deadly disease.
“It’s absolutely devastating in terms of what it does to your body and what it does to a family financially and the toll it takes,” said Kylie Walman, co-coordinator of the Vernon five-kilometre walk.
Kylie says her family was lucky as her mom had an amazing, upbeat spirit despite the “awful” disease.
But before amyotrophic lateral sclerosis claimed Patty Walman in June 2010, Kylie watched it not only drain her mom, but also her dad.
“She needed total care so he was over extended and still working full-time,” said Kylie.
According to the ALS Society of B.C., just the equipment costs for each patient is around $137,000 a year.
“The amount of equipment you need to help someone live with ALS is absolutely astronomical,” said Kylie, as a motor neurons are affected, which carry messages to the muscles, which then lose strength, atrophy and die.
“Lots of people will even lose their ability to talk.”
The ALS Society helps through its equipment loan program, which 60 per cent of the funds raised at the walk go to.
“They’ll get in anywhere in the province in a week,” said Kylie of the life-changing equipment.
The remainder of the funds go to ALS Canada for research. The event takes place in June, which is ALS Awareness month, and for the Walman/Dunlop family it also marks the anniversary of Patty’s death.
Kylie has long been involved with the ALS Society.
Her dad is also on the board of directors for B.C. and runs the Fraser Valley walk.
Each of them continues to take part in the walk in a greater effort to stop ALS in its tracks.
The Vernon walk will include music from Carolyn Anele, kids activities such as a bouncy castle and face painting, as well as a barbecue with all proceeds going to the society thanks to Nature’s Fare.
Register online at www.walkforals.ca.