Introducing the Edmonton WALK for ALS Ambassador

“Hello, my name is Fred Gillis and this year I am honoured to be the ALS Society of Alberta Ambassador for the Edmonton WALK for ALS on June 10, 2017. I am a law enforcement officer with the RCMP and for the past 29 years I have worked in various locations across Canada. I am but one of the “Many Faces of ALS”. On December 1, 2015, I was diagnosed with ALS. I had been losing my arm strength and coordination for almost a year. It was devastating news and acceptance was difficult because you learn right away that ALS affects everyone around you; your family, your friends and your career. We immediately began to focus on the way forward which included education, communication, support and physical therapy. Since my diagnosis I have been getting support and assistance from the University of Alberta ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic team, the ALS Society of Alberta and the ALS Edmonton Society Support Group. ALS continually makes me adapt to the progression of the disease and I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to be able to pick up the phone and have someone understand my situation and help me come up with solutions to make living easier. I have only two words to describe the ALS Society of Alberta – love and support. Most of this support and assistance would not exist if it were not for the generous financial support by Canadians. I am taking part in two ALS clinical research trials, one of which is spearheaded by Dr. Sanjay Kalra, co-medical director of the Alberta Health Services’ ALS Clinic in Edmonton. Dr. Kalra and his research team are using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology to study and learn about changes in the brains of people with ALS and to track the progression of the disease in hopes of developing a better way to detect and ultimately cure ALS. ALS research gives me hope that we will one day find a cure. This is all about Canadians helping Canadians. I sincerely hope everyone will come out and support the 2017 Edmonton WALK for ALS!"