On Saturday, Mayor John Tecklenburg and Mayor Will Haynie, along with people living with ALS, their family members, friends, caregivers, and others impacted by ALS, will join the fight to find a cure as a part of the South Carolina Walk to Defeat ALS.
ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive motor neuron disease, which gradually robs people of their ability to walk, talk, swallow and eventually breathe. ALS has no known cause or cure, but the South Carolina community is rallying together to do whatever it takes to change that. Both Mayors have recognized the impact ALS is having on their communities and will be proclaiming Saturday October 30th the Walk to Defeat ALS Day in their municipalities at 10 am under the Ravenel bridge on Harry Hallman Boulevard.
The ALS community will creatively come together safely across the State on Saturday October 30th to honor a loved one with the disease, to remember those who have passed, and to raise awareness and critical fundraising support for the fight against ALS. Teams in Charleston will be walking the Ravenel Bridge, in Hampton Park, at Jennie Moore Elementary and in neighborhoods to show their commitment to finding a cure.
One of those participating in this year’s event is Ron Faretra, along with his team Ron’s ALS Slayers. Ron is a retired Chief Master Sargent from the United States Air Force where he served 27 years. Ron served 21 years as an aircrew member on a cargo aircraft, logging almost 9,000 flying hours and 6 years in the accounting field at Charleston Air Force Base and the Osan Air Base in Korea. In 2017 Ron was diagnosed with ALS and has dedicated his life to helping discover treatments and cure. For unknown reasons, veterans are more likely to develop ALS than the general population. Ron and his team have raised $18,000 during this walk season which will help others in South Carolina who are diagnosed with ALS. The Walk is the ALS Association South Carolina’s signature event in which all funds directly support cutting-edge research, programs and patient care.
Ron considers himself a lucky ALS patient because he still maintains the ability to walk short distances and will join his team, via motorized scooter, as they walk the bridge. “This walk is all about raising awareness and funds and we are so grateful the Mayors have agreed to proclaim this the Walk to Defeat ALS Day to help us do just that,” Ron says.
With only two to five years to live, people living with ALS like Ron have an urgent need, and the community is stepping in to fill it by walking for those who can’t. This year’s event has raised more than $170,000 with nearly 400 walkers participating across the state.
For those who would like to join in supporting the Walk to Defeat ALS they can visit web.alsa.org/scwalk to make a donation or Join the team! Together we can create a world without ALS.
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