Nation Honours Canadians fighting ALS, celebrates Lou Gehrig

ALS Canada recognizes individuals during ALS Awareness Month

MARKHAM, ON, June 3, 2013 /CNW/ - ALS Canada has made significant strides in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). During ALS Awareness Month, individuals supporting people living with the devastating disease are recognized.

ALS Canada also celebrates Lou Gehrig, soon to be honoured by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gehrig brought international attention to the disease, and reminds us that ALS can affect anyone, even our greatest heroes.

Knowledge is power in the fight against ALS

Today, David Tilson, MP for Dufferin - Caledon, addressed the House of Commons. In 2011 he introduced a private member's bill to designate the month of June as ALS Awareness Month. Today he underscored the importance of the bill in generating national awareness.

"Since my father passed from ALS a number of years ago, I have made it my mission to increase awareness and support the community through fundraising initiatives. My goal is to assist ALS Canada in finding a cure for the disease," said Tilson.

Canadians rally to support people living with ALS

"When a community unites, anything can be accomplished, said Lindee David, CEO, ALS Canada. "While there is no cure for ALS, with the help of those living with ALS, volunteers and fundraisers we are making advancements and a difference. We are at a pivotal time where hope for a breakthrough is on the horizon."

Contributions to ALS Canada fund support services, education for the ALS community and research initiatives. During ALS Awareness Month, the organization is awarding individuals dedicated the fight against ALS across the country. Details about each individual can be found here: http://www.als.ca/en/get-involved/volunteering/award-winners.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ellen Mahoney, BC; and Al Pettit (posthumously), ON
  • William Fraser Leadership Development Award: Lori Weir, NB
  • Myra Rosenfeld Volunteer Award: Lolo Lam, ON
  • Marcel Bertrand Exceptional Support Services Award: The Interconnexion Team, QC; and Michel Bourassa and dog, Dylan, ON
  • Brett Yerex Exceptional Advocacy Award: Gabriela Merner, BC
  • Tony Proudfoot Exceptional Public Awareness Award: Steve Darling, BC; Siobhan Rock, Laurie Smith, ON; Patrice Roy, Charles Ménard and Radio-Canada's Téléjournal Team, QC; and Members of the PGA of BC
  • Sidney Valo Exceptional Fundraising Program Award: Don McCusker, BC; Shelly Brown, Mary Roy, NS; and the Calgary Motor Dealers Association, AB
  • Mary Pollock WALK for ALS Award: Teresa and Leslie McAdam, ON
  • Leader of Tomorrow Award: Sam Dean McCuaig and Lauren Braun, BC

Follow their lead and join Canadians supporting the ALS community.

WALK for ALS
The WALK for ALS is a fun, family friendly event occurring across the country in more than 85 locations. Join thousands of Canadians for fitness, fun and the fight against ALS. Every dollar you raise goes to provide equipment, support services, education for the ALS Community, and funds research to find a cure. To find a location near you, visit: http://www.walkforals.ca/about-the-walk.

The Blue Cornflower
The blue cornflower is the emblem of ALS Canada because, despite its fragile appearance, it is a hardy wildflower found throughout the country. Like the cornflower, people living with ALS show remarkable strength in coping with a devastating disease. Don the blue cornflower throughout June to show your support. For more information, visit: http://www.als.ca/en/get-involved/als-awareness.

About ALS
ALS is a terminal disease characterized by progressive paralysis of muscles throughout the body. Ninety percent of ALS patients die within five years of diagnosis and some in less than one. An estimated 3,000 Canadians have the disease, yet there are currently no effective treatment options. ALS is caused by death of motor neurons, which connect the brain to the muscles. While the specific cause remains unknown, promising discoveries in recent years have provided significant clues that should pave the way for new therapies and an eventual cure.

About ALS Canada
The ALS Society of Canada, founded in 1977, is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS and support for those with ALS.  ALS Canada is the leading not-for-profit organization working nationwide to fund ALS research and, with the Provincial ALS Societies, working to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by ALS.

SOURCE: ALS Canada

For further information:

Nic Canning
Smithcom
647-457-4972
nic.canning@smithcom.ca

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