2018 Moro Memorial Ride

Congratulations to Payton Moro for not only surpassing her goal of raising over $5000 for her annual Moro Memorial Ride with YYC Cycle - Spin Studio for the ALS Society, but for also being a recipient of the Leader of Tomorrow award last night at our Appreciation Event. Thank you for bringing so much energy and compassion to the ALS cause!

Hinton WALK for ALS

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It was an incredible morning at the Hinton WALK for ALS on Sunday, raising $8,500 and counting! A huge thank you to our Hinton WALK Ambassador Helen Banks, WALK coordinators Deena Fuller & Sandi Rasmussen-Connolly and to all donors, participants and sponsors! Great work to all the teams that participated including Kickin’ It for Kenny and Helens Heroes!

Big Drew's Big Ride

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This year marked the fifth and final Big Drew's Big Ride in support of the ALS Society of Alberta. Event organizer, Jim Robinson, created this event with his best friend Drew, after Drew was diagnosed with ALS. Five years later, this event has raised over $58,000 for ALS, has brought over 100 riders together of all ages that have clocked thousands of kilometers along the Legacy Trail. Thank you Jim, for your incredible dedication over the past five years. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful friendship. 

AOC Golf Tournament

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Wow!! We are completely blown away by the generosity from the golf tournament on Tuesday! $4,800 was raised along with an additional $450 that was graciously donated by the 50/50 winner, bringing the total to $5,250!! 

Thank you to Jeff Goyer, Kelsey Smith and everyone on the AOC board committee for all your hard work and incredible support!

2018 WALK for ALS Ambassador

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The Hinton WALK for ALS is happening on September 9th and we'd like to introduce our 2018 WALK Ambassador for Hinton, Helen Banks.

"My name is Helen Banks and I am honoured to be the ambassador for the 2018 Hinton Walk for ALS. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has taken away much of my mobility and ability to do things for myself. As there is no cure, the Walks for ALS are so important. My wish is that current research will soon provide for early detection and a treatment to slow or stop progression and hopefully someday provide a cure for ALS.

My journey started a few years back with slowly increasing difficulty walking up hills and stairs, loss of balance, stumbling and falling. It’s old age they said! Eventually my doctor decided these weren’t normal and sent me to a couple of neurologists who performed a number of tests with the end result being Dr. Kalra identifying my condition was ALS. Those words threw my family and me into shock.

Immediately a meeting was set up with the ALS team at the University of Alberta/Kaye Edmonton Clinic who shared with us what to expect and how to care for me. We meet regularly with this wonderful group to check my status and advise on actions if necessary. They referred me to the ALS Society who have been beyond words in providing equipment to assist with my mobility issues , personal support and providing a link to the health care systems in Edmonton and Hinton. The Society’s monthly coffee parties provided my husband Jim and me a chance to meet other patients in various stages of the disease and share day to day helpful hints. We plan to stay in touch via Skype.

When my Hinton family, Kim and Ryan Tew, heard of my diagnosis, they wanted to be part of my journey and aid Jim in my care as needed. Together we purchased the Bar-F Ranch House and we moved in June 2017. This has meant that the burden of care has been spread out and we have had some special family times.

We have become familiar with the Hinton Health Care system and have had a very positive experience,meeting knowledgeable and caring practitioners. My Case Manager in Hinton has been very responsive and made many suggestions that have really helped.

Although ALS has taken away my mobility and ability to do things, I try to keep this adventure as positive as I can, enjoying my family and friends and the beautiful scenery of Hinton and Jasper."

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Helen and we will see you all at the Hinton WALK for ALS!

2017 Annual Report

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The ALS Society of Alberta is proud to present its 2017 report to the community. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the ALS cause throughout 2017. It is because of this incredible community that we are able to work toward our mission of making each day the best possible day for people living with and affected by ALS.

ALS research webinar: From models in the laboratory to ALS therapies

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When it comes to testing new therapeutic approaches for ALS, researchers have a wide variety of animal models to choose from. However, many drugs that have been shown to be effective in animal models have failed in human clinical trials, leading to the question: which animal models are the most effective for modeling human disease? In this webinar, Dr. Vincent Picher-Martel from Laval University will present some advantages and disadvantages of the animal models currently available for the study of ALS. He will also discuss his work using mice models to simulate mutations in Ubiquilin-2 and TDP-43, two genes known to contribute to the development of ALS.

June 30 - Colleen Kovaluk

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On our last day of our #MakingitPossible stories we spoke to Colleen Kovaluk who lives with ALS. Colleen was diagnosed with ALS in December 2015 and has been attending the Edmonton coffee group with her husband, Peter.

"We love coming to the ALS coffee shop because of the great treats they provide. Yummy!" Colleen is known at coffee group for providing a warm welcome to new members with open arms.

Colleen's family members are also very active with the ALS community, her sister Melanie who lives in Lethbridge attends the Lethbridge WALK yearly. Her niece Nicole who got married last September made donations to the ALS Society in lieu of party favours at her wedding in Calgary.

Colleen and Peter also love spending time with their friendly dog, Kona who is just as warm and pleasant as his owners. Thank you Colleen and Peter for being such a bright presence at each month's coffee group.

June 29 - Board of Directors

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The Board of Directors of the ALS Society of Alberta is an incredible group of volunteers that generously give their time and expertise to guide our Society and the work we do.

They are people that have personally been touched by ALS so they know the depth and intensity of this disease. Tara Pentney, Cathy Martin, Gord Banting, Heather Haddow, Paul Leroux, Dave Williams, Rochelle Maitripala and Nancy Lyzaniwski. They are all #MakingitPossible every day.

This year, we would also like to thank and congratulate Jan Desrosiers for an incredible 15 years on our Board. Thank you for all that you have done and the difference you made during your time on the Board. 

Behind the scenes, they each dedicate countless hours to the work we do, attend numerous events each year and lead our organization with passion and commitment.

Thank you to all of you. We are so very lucky.

June 28 - Corey Kjorsvik

The ALS Society of Alberta is proud to support those affected by PLS and Kennedy's Disease. Today, Corey Kjorsvik is helping to raise awareness about Kennedy's and how he keeps #MakingitPossible to attend support groups in both Calgary and Edmonton. 

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"In 2002 I was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease (Spinal Bulbar Muscular Atrophy) at the age of 39. It is a rare genetic neuromuscular disease that affects about 1 in 40,000 people worldwide. It is a slow wasting of the muscle mass with no cure. Going back to 1997, I was feeling signs of weakness in my arms and trouble walking long distances. A couple really bad choking fits made me realize that something was not right and that I needed to see a doctor about it. It has been misdiagnosed in the past as ALS, and I can still remember vividly the thoughts going through my head at the time I was being tested, and what my future would hold.

As my symptoms progress the ALS Society has become such a blessing to me. They have taken me under their wings and given me so much support. I have always had the love and support from my family and friends but was never able to find that outlet where I could communicate and share freely with others the same issues, symptoms, feelings that I was going through. It was while attending the ALS clinic in Calgary’s SHC for the first time that made me aware of the fact that I was being surrounded by so much support, and that I needed to stay involved.

Now as I move forward, I attend their monthly support group meetings in both Calgary and Edmonton. I look so forward to these meetings. The atmosphere is that of understanding, support, and caring, in such a positive environment. Being able to share with others my own personal knowledge and obstacles and understanding their own, I believe helps to better all of us in moving forward. The ALS Societies lending program has also been so helpful in helping me overcome the obstacles I encounter with mobility. I have now completed my second annual Betty’s Run for ALS in Calgary and am overwhelmed by the outpouring of people that attend in support of their loved ones and friends. Our team The “Kennedy’s Clan was able to raise over $1100.00 this year.

Being able to reach out and tell your story, I believe is so important in getting the word out about ALS and looking for that cure. Research I understand through the ALS Society is really progressing right now and hopefully in the process, they will stumble upon and find a cure for Kennedy’s Disease. To everyone that suffers from this terrible disease of ALS, and to those that work and volunteer tirelessly in support of the ALS Society, I say to you all that for who you are and what you do, 'you do truly make a difference in everyone’s life'"