Walking down east to defeat ALS

Published 10:45 am Monday, February 12, 2018

From Down East Walk to Defeat ALS


A fun, family event, supporting a great cause is coming soon in Greenville! The Down East Walk to Defeat ALS —  a 2-mile walk starting and ending at East Carolina University’s Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium — will be held April 14, starting at 10 a.m.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The disease robs people of the ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe. It traps them inside a body they no longer can control.

The Walk to Defeat ALS is the ALS Association’s premiere fundraising event. The Down East Walk to Defeat ALS is one of six throughout North Carolina, which collectively raised $1.2 million last year. This year, the Down East Walk returns to the ECU campus, which has a close connection with the fatal disease. Former ECU baseball coach Keith LeClair was diagnosed with ALS while coaching the Pirates, and resigned due to the disease after the 2002 season. He passed away in 2006.

Professional Healthcare Inc., Stalls Medical, Med Emporium and Pepsi Bottling Ventures are statewide sponsors of The Walk to Defeat ALS, which will also feature music, food and kid-friendly activities.

Money raised at the walk will benefit the ALS Association North Carolina Chapter, which focuses on helping people living with ALS in North Carolina and their families, as well as finding cures and treatments for the disease through research and advocacy. The North Carolina Chapter serves nearly 800 people living with ALS each year by supporting all of the state’s multidisciplinary ALS clinics, providing financial assistance to people living with ALS and operating support groups and a medical equipment loan program.

“There has been tremendous progress in the fight against ALS since the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Jerry Dawson, president and CEO of the ALS Association North Carolina Chapter. “Scientists have discovered four new genes, there are nearly 130 active or recruiting clinical trials, and we are funding more than 120 research projects in eight countries. We are working hard to keep the momentum going and will not rest until there is a cure. Our Walks to Defeat ALS enable us to provide support for people living with ALS now while continuing to fund global research.”

Down East Walk to Defeat ALS will be held on April 14. Registration is at 9 a.m.; the walk, at 10 a.m. Location is ECU’s Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Gate 5 (100 Ficklen Dr., Greenville). For more information visit www.alsnc.org, call 877-568-4347 or email walk@alsnc.org.