Walking for ALS: Fundraiser aims for $35K

Walking for ALS: Fundraiser aims for $35K
The Walk to End ALS in Cornwall. File photo.

By Adam Brazeau 
Cornwall, Ontario – Ken Depatie wanted to thank over 150 people for following him on a fundraising walk for a cure, but the disease that is slowly killing him has stolen his voice.

With his wife, Carole, and son, David, at his side, the trio made the five-kilometre trek up-and-down the bike path weaving along the St. Lawrence River at the annual Walk for ALS in Cornwall on Saturday (June 6).

Depatie, 44, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) four years ago. Read more about his journey here.

The community support means the world – anything to help people like my father, and my uncle who had it, too,” said David.

Carole hopes the yearly stroll from St. Lawrence College to the Nav Centre leads to a cure.

“The Depaties were chosen to be the lead family this year – the disease has taken its toll on Ken and he is declining very, very fast,” said Melissa Ferguson, event co-coordinator for ALS Canada’s Cornwall chapter.

She noted that the last year’s viral Ice Bucket Challenge raised awareness of the disease and got more people involved with the walk.

It’s definitely growing,” said Ferguson.

Lianne Johnston, ALS Canada’s eastern Ontario regional manager, announced that $26,000 had already been tallied.

“Our target fundraising goal is $35,000, and we’re going to make it happen,” said Johnston.

ALS can strike young or elderly people, but is most commonly diagnosed in middle and late adulthood. More than 2,500 Canadians over 18 currently live with the fatal disease, which has no effective treatment or cure.

According to ALS Canada, 80 per cent of all people diagnosed pass away within two to five years.

To make a donation, visit walkforals.ca/ontario.

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