Walk for ALS

June 9, 2011

I spent last Saturday morning with a family friend. She presented me with a purple silicone bracelet. One side says WHAT WOULD YOU DO, then you flip it around to read WHILE YOU STILL COULD? This wasn’t just a philosophical exercise. We’d met to talk about her husband who had died of ALS. While our conversation may not have seemed the cheeriest I did walk away with a sense of contentment and hope. If she could walk that journey and exude hope, why couldn’t I?

Since Christopher’s passing Wanda has taken part in numerous ALS Society walks and is now more deeply involved with the ALS Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Society is “small but substantial” says Wanda. “We supply equipment that can be serviced and sent out again: wheelchairs, lift chairs, hospital beds, scooters, breathing assists. We have some of the equip for feeding tubes, safety rails, bath tub chairs, endless equipment. Sent on courier the day it’s requested, all from one small office in Corner Brook for the entire province.”

She says people come in and they bring friends and family. They bring equipment. The ALS Society is all about client services. They do one major fundraiser each year and that is the Walk for ALS. This year’s walk will happen on Sunday, June 12. Registration begins at 12 p.m. at Bennett Hall on West Street. The Walk will commence at 2 p.m. from the same location.

I asked Wanda what her hope is for the future of the ALS Society. She said:

“My hope is to help open people’s eyes, spread awareness and shut the door. I want to see Cheryl (Executive Director) unemployed. We joke about that… being a little more realistic… I’m not so sure that I will live long enough to see it but I hope and pray my children, Christopher’s sons and his daughter (because he always said he had 3 chldren) live long enough to see the cause and the cure found and the door shut. Go big or go home. I dream big … and I dream in colour too. Without hope you have nothing. I have hope. It will happen. I believe.”

If you want to participate in the Walk for ALS or make a donation, please contact the ALS Society of Newfoundland & Labrador for more information.

If you would like to read more about Wanda and Christopher’s story, please see http://www.etchingpostcards.com/?p=127 .

Photo 1 by Bad Alley. Photo 2 by Helen Jayne Reid.