Hundreds gather for “Walk to Defeat ALS”

Walk to defeat ALS
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 4:41 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Hundreds gathered for the “Walk to Defeat ALS” on Saturday.

The ASL Association hosted the second “Walk to Defeat ALS” this year.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive neurological disease that results in the death of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, according to ALS News Today.

Over 20,000 Americans are battling ALS. Eric Brown is one of those who was present at the walk.

“Every person that has ALS is different,” he said.

For Brown, his story with ALS started with a bike ride. He felt his left hand weakening, then his left leg.

He went to a doctor, who couldn’t figure out what was causing the loss of motor functions in his legs, he went to a doctor in Memphis who diagnosed him with ALS.

“Having the support from your family and the community is a big deal,” he said.

Several groups arrived outside the Carl R. Reng Student Union at Arkansas State University to show their support for those battling ALS.

Those diagnosed with ALS can experience the weakening of their muscles, slurred speech, and the eventual paralysis of their muscles, leaving many in wheelchairs.

But there is more to that battle.

“Just going to the doctor, medication, I take a trial drug that costs $18,000 a month,” said Brown.

The National Library of Medicine estimates the cost of A-L-S is over a million dollars per person.

Events like the “Walk to Defeat ALS” take some of that financial burden off those patients.

“They help with medical bills, our personal bills that going to the doctors, so raising the funds and they stay right here in Arkansas,” he said.

It’s not just about helping those who are battling ALS.

For Brown and many others, it’s about making sure that one day, no one else has ALS.

“If we keep giving and raising enough funds, we can find a cure for ALS,” he said.

Over $90,000 was raised at this year’s event.