Hundreds rally to defeat ALS

MEDFORD, ORE. —  Around 300 people gathered Sunday afternoon at Bear Creek Park in Medford for the annual ‘Walk to defeat ALS.’

Ryan Gairson is just one of many who have a personal connection to ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“My father had ALS, he had it for 2 years. And he passed in ’04. He was my biggest rock, Gairson said.

ALS  is a progressive disease that slowly attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The life expectancy after being diagnosed is typically 2 to 5 years. There is currently no cure or known cause.

But that’s exactly the reason why those who attended Sunday, rallied together.

Gairson said it’s a good respond support group, “it reminds me of a big family, fighting to get this cure for people in the future that get diagnosed with ALS.”

“I know it means a lot me that we’re helping people,” said volunteer Aaron Quarrell.

“There’s people lives who are affected by this. And something as so simple as this can impact somebody’s life,” he said.

Last year the ALS Association saw record breaking numbers thanks to awareness from the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Organizers say the fundraising momentum is still being felt, even on a local level.

“A few days ago we already hit our goal for this year, so far we’ve raised $46,000,” said Rebecca Pace, the Development Manager with the ALS Association.

All the money raised will go to the ALS Association for research and care services.

To learn more about ALS, click here.

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