On Saturday, March 10, 2018, more than 750 people will gather at Elva Rouse Park in St. Petersburg to join the fight to find a cure for a deadly illness.

Judy Alaszkiewicz with members of Team Judy & The Sunshiners, at the 2017 Greater Tampa Bay Walk to Defeat ALS®.
Image/ALS Association Florida Chapter

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, progressively paralyzes its victims, attacking nerve cells and pathways in the brain or spinal cord, taking away their ability to walk, talk, eat and eventually breathe.  ALS has no known cause or cure, but the Greater Tampa Bay community is rallying together to change that.

Participating again this year is Judy Alaszkiewicz, diagnosed with ALS in July 2015 at age 62, about a year and half after her symptoms started.  Participating now in her third walk with family and friends, Team Judy and the Sunshiners has raised more than $8,000 so far, and continues to raise funds and awareness for people living with ALS in Florida.  “My first intent to participate in a Walk is to fund raise for research towards a treatment and cure for this mysterious illness,” says Judy. “Second intent is to intertwine with all others who have ALS or who have family or friends who have ALS.  It’s a world we’re sharing, so I don’t feel alone, I am ambitious to carry on.”

“This kind of community support truly represents what the Walk to Defeat ALS® is all about,” said Julie Niehoff, Director of Communications for The ALS Association Florida Chapter.  “These events give hope and help to people affected by ALS and show them they are not alone in their fight.”

Wheelchair-bound patients along with their families and friends will make a 2-mile trek in The Walk to Defeat ALS®, hoping their steps will make a difference for ALS patients living in Florida. Many who walk have a loved one who is still fighting the deadly disease. Others walk in memory of a loved one who has lost the battle. Many people, without any personal connection, still walk out of a simple concern for those who are suffering with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

With only two to five years to live, these patients have an urgent need, and the community is stepping in to fill it by walking for those who cannot.  The Walk to Defeat ALS® is The ALS Association’s signature event in which all funds directly support cutting-edge research, programs and patient care. Last year, more than 6,000 people walked in events throughout the state of Florida, raising almost $1.5 million.

All interested walkers should call 888-257-1717 ext. 114, or register online at www.WalktoDefeatALS.org