2019 Betty's Run for ALS Ambassador: Ken McIsaac

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Each year, the Betty’s Run for ALS committee selects an Ambassador to help show the public what it is like to live with the disease. The ALS Society of Alberta is proud to present Ken McIsaac as the 2019 Betty’s Run for ALS Ambassador.

“I am honoured to be the Ambassador for the 23rd annual Betty’s Run for ALS and to share my story. As can be typical of ALS, diagnosis can be challenging. In July 2018, I was experiencing shortness of breath and had significant weight loss. I was having painful muscle spasms in my diaphragm and heart palpitations. I spent the next three months with various specialists attempting to make a diagnosis. In mid-October I was scheduled for a stress test that was monitored by an internist. During this test, he observed symptoms that convinced him I had ALS. On November 7, 2018 an EMG conducted by the ALS Clinic at South Health Campus confirmed the diagnosis.

The ALS Clinic has been outstanding. The team there has been very helpful and supportive, and have even worked with me on an alternative drug therapy from Japan that could slow down the progression of the disease and increase my life expectancy. However, there is no cure currently for ALS; all that I can hope for is a delay in the progression. Shortly after being diagnosed our family was introduced to the ALS Society of Alberta in Calgary. We attended a potluck event before Christmas and met several people with ALS. We were so impressed with the positive attitudes of people filled with acceptance and resilience. It was also a reminder of the necessity to provide support and services for those battling ALS.

Receiving the initial diagnosis that day in October and sharing that news with my wife and son were the most gut wrenching and emotional events of our lives. Although I am weak and short of breath, the more prominent debilitating symptoms have yet to manifest themselves. We are blessed with many thoughtful and caring friends.

My family and I look forward to being part of Betty’s Run for ALS this June to help raise funds and awareness for this important cause.”