KINGSPORT – The annual “Walk to Defeat ALS” event this past Saturday in Kingsport brought out more than 350 participants to raise money for local patients and families as well as celebrate the courage of those living with the deadly disease.
The event took place at Borden Park and was hosted by the ALS Association Tennessee Chapter.
According to Jane Luethke, care services coordinator for the local chapter, 28 teams registered for the event and more than 350 folks attended to walk the mile-long path through the Kingsport park. Nearly $43,000 was raised during the event and there’s still time to donate, Luethke said.
“Borden provided a beautiful park with a flat route that worked well for the walk,” Luethke said. “One comment I heard from a first time attendee was that she was surprised at the upbeat atmosphere of the walk despite the fact that there is no cure for ALS.
"That made me happy because it’s so important to make walk day a day to celebrate the courage of those living with ALS.”
Nearly 30,000 Americans are living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) at any given time, with an average life expectancy of just two to five years. With no known cause, treatment or cure, ALS is a rapidly-progressive disease that claims the lives of many folks in Tennessee each year.
Living with ALS can cost up to $250,000 annually, depleting families of all of their life savings. The Tennessee chapter offers all services to people with ALS and their families free of charge. Last year more than 3,500 walkers attended and raised more than $770,000 at our four statewide walks.
“One of our challenges is for people to know that the ALS Association not only is the largest private source of funding for ALS-specific research in the world but we provide care services programs on an individual basis,” Luethke said.