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ALS annual fundraiser Walk Strong goes virtual on June 21

Global ALS Awareness Day
The ALS Society of N.B and N.S. is hosting a unique virtual fundraiser this year to support those living with the disease.

The ALS Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is one of those organizations across Canada going digital this year for their annual ALS Walk Strong due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically, the ALS Walk Strong event would see hundreds gather to walk in-support and raise funds of those living with the disease. Due to the pandemic, the organization plans to take it online. Participants can not only walk or run; they can get creative and share their deeds on social media.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It eventually causes paralysis and slowly takes away a person’s ability to speak, swallow and breathe.

READ MORE: Living with ALS – The fight for more access to clinical trials

“We do not know exactly why someone does get ALS,” says Paula Aceto, fundraising specialist for the ALS Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. “Bringing awareness to ALS and having people realize what a debilitating and horrible disease it is; not only is there no cure but there is no treatment.”

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Aceto says anyone who wants to make a donation can do so on the ALS Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia’s website or sponsor an individual or team taking part in the walk

On the morning of June 21, which also marks Global ALS Awareness Day, participants are not only encouraged to take part in the ALS Walk Strong event but also decorate their home, porch, front lawn and windows and use the hashtag #alswalkstrong2020 to show their support.

READ MORE: Sails sculpture, hospital in Kelowna to show support for ALS awareness month

Then at noon, the community is encouraged to make some noise from their front yards or balconies in-support of those in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick living with ALS.

“The ALS community is all about coming… planning a virtual event is all new to us,” ALS Society of Alberta’s Karen Caughey told Global News. “However, I think we’re finding ways to move forward and engage our families with each other as much as possible.”

READ MORE: Charitable events in Alberta go virtual during COVID-19 pandemic

Participants of this year’s ALS Walk Strong can sign up online through the ALS Society of N.B. and N.S. website.

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