DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – An event at Day Air Ballpark on Sunday aimed to raise money and awareness about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The Walk to Defeat ALS is the main fundraiser for the ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter.
Each year, the Dayton walk brings people together from all over to support the cause.
“It’s supporting people that currently have ALS and helping them get the resources that they need or funding research so we don’t have to do this anymore,” walk participant Sherri Fischer said.
Fischer walks in honor of her mom, who died from ALS in 2005.
She got a big surprise Sunday when her group of best friends showed up to walk beside her, with some coming from as far as Florida and California.
“I wouldn’t have been any place else today because Judy’s the one who said Sherri couldn’t get anyone to sign up with her this year,” Fischer’s friend Heidi said.
“I’ve got the best squad, they support me,” Fischer said.
Sunday’s event raised $94,888, which will provide support groups, equipment lending and financial assistance to people living with ALS and their families.
“ALS can cost $250,000 a year, and so anything we can do to help mitigate that, we also like to do that as well,” Amy Hall, event, fundraising and engagement manager for the ALS Association, said.
The event brought out teams of people who were walking for their loved ones or have ALS themselves. Charlotte Sims said it was her first year participating in the walk with her husband, Phil Sims, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2022.
“Anybody that has ALS, I think they need to be involved,” Charlotte Sims said. “They need to get in touch because the doctors told us about the support groups and all of this and it’s been amazing. They’ve helped him so much and helped me as a caregiver.”
ALS is a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and it has no cure.
“You would think, oh, ALS is an awful disease, this is going to be a downer of a walk or a downer of an event, and it’s not,” Hall said. “It’s just hopeful and happy and love, and it’s amazing.”
To learn more about the ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter, click here.