Betty's Run for ALS
Thank you to everyone who attended the 22nd annual
betty's run for als! we raised over $486,000!
DONATION PAGES ARE STILL OPEN BELOW:
2018 Ambassador - Wayne Thomas
"I first noticed weakness in my left foot in 2015 while running with a friend. When it persisted and worsened over the next few months, I saw a doctor who assessed it as a probable back injury. For 2016, I did all the things you would for a back issue: an MRI, acupuncture, chiropractor and physio but still it wasn’t getting better. In January 2017 with my foot becoming full-on drop-foot and it becoming difficult to walk without a leg brace, I was at a loss for answers. I went to another doctor for a second opinion and he agreed that this didn’t seem normal. He recommended I have an EMG /nerve conduction test. By May it was revealed that I had significant muscle deterioration in my lower left foot and leg. After many medical tests to rule out all other possibilities, it was determined there was a high probability I had something I had not expected – a diagnosis of slow-progressing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS.
Initially, I was devastated. After the grief and shock subsided, and with the support of my wife Joanna, family and friends, I got on with facing the disease head-on. I continued to work, exercise, travel and with the help of Joanna, researched various known treatments to further slow the disease. Through an ALS forum, she discovered a drug called Radicava / Edaravone that was invented in Japan and originally targeted for stroke sufferers. With her at my side, we travelled to Japan in the fall where I spent five weeks receiving the infusions with the intent to carry on with them back home. In addition, I have signed up in Canada for other clinical trials of medications being tested to treat ALS.
I am hoping that sharing my story will help shine more light on this disease. I want everyone to know that ALS is a severely underfunded illness. The support of fundraisers such as Betty’s Run, however, have accelerated the number of promising investments being made into national ALS research. The ALS Society needs our support so that not only the patients already diagnosed are taken care of, but there continues to be additional medical advances so ultimately a cure for this horrible disease can happen in the foreseeable future. From a personal perspective, this diagnosis has been a glaring reminder for me that we all have to savour life more and live it to the fullest. I have had a great life so far, and any experience I have going forward will be counted as a blessing not a right. Supporting Betty’s Run is a great example of how we can all get involved and I am honoured to be part of it."
Betty's Run for ALS celebrates, promotes and channels hope for those affected with ALS, their families and their friends.
Over the past 22 years, Betty's Run has raised over $7 million due to the generous support of donors and participants. Of funds raised, 60 per cent stay in Alberta to support those currently living with ALS through equipment and client services. The remaining 40 per cent of funds support ongoing research into identifying the cause and cure for this devastating disease.
Who is Betty?
Betty Norman was an active 58-year-old Calgarian when she was diagnosed with ALS in August of 1996. Betty's courage and determination to make a difference was the driving force behind the June 1997 "This One's for Betty" walk/run. Sadly, Betty passed away within 11 months of her diagnosis and two weeks after the event that she inspired took place.
Determined to continue Betty's unwavering spirit, the organizing committee unanimously decided to hold an event every year in Betty's memory and honour. They also wanted to raise much needed funds to support the many other Albertans currently living with or affected by ALS. This is how the annual Betty's Run for ALS was born.
Thank you to our sponsors
RE/MAX Calgary & Area Associates