The 21st annual Walk to Defeat ALS® is going virtual once again, and people living with ALS need your participation now more than ever. The event is the premier fundraiser for The ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter.

The walk is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 26, or whenever you can. “Walk Your Way” in your own neighborhood, backyard or community park. T donate or register, go to: web.alsa.org/WalktoDefeatALS-CSOH.

“While there won’t be a large in-person event this year, the Walk Your Way format allows people to show their support and join the fight by walking together in their own neighborhoods, backyards, and community parks” said Marlin Seymour, Executive Director.

People with ALS and their families benefit from free services the chapter provides. They, along with members of the community, will be walking to raise money for these programs, and to continue to raise the profile of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Team spirit will be widely visible in the small groups walking throughout the area, with participants sporting their own customized team shirts and carrying signs to demonstrate their support, honor loved ones and remember those who have passed away.

Funds raised from the Walk are used to provide services to individuals and families living with ALS, including consultations with healthcare professionals, loaned medical equipment, financial grants, education & exchange groups, and education and information about the disease.

In addition, the Chapter hosts events to raise awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, advocates on behalf of ALS patients, and supports The ALS Association’s global research program that is focused on finding a cause and cure for ALS. All of these services and activities are provided free of charge to patients and their families and caregivers.

“Generous corporate sponsorships, in addition to dollars raised by teams of walkers, help us continue to serve each year,” Seymour added.

This year’s local sponsors of the Walk are Denier, HoneyBaked Ham, and Ohio’s Hospice. Since 2001, the Chapter’s five Walk to Defeat ALS® events in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Lima and Glouster have raised more than six million dollars.

“We’re so grateful to all of our Walk Team Captains, Walk participants and others who donate; their support truly does make a difference for ALS patients,” Seymour noted.

Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS, and every 90 minutes someone loses their battle to this fatal disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

The disease robs people of the ability to walk, to talk and even blink an eye. It traps them inside a body they no longer can control and ultimately prevents them from breathing as it takes their life.

People with ALS lose the power to use their legs, hold someone close, and simply say, “I love you,” before their bodies gradually shut down. There is no known cause or cure for the disease, although military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population.

About The ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter: Formed in 1983, The ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter serves patients and families in 55 counties. The chapter provides services to the ALS community, promotes awareness of the disease, raises funds for chapter programs and advocates for ALS patients.

Patient services offered through the chapter include case management and consultation with experienced healthcare professionals, an equipment lending program, monthly support groups, newsletters, information, referral sources and ALS advocacy in the local community and on Capitol Hill.

These services are provided to ALS patients free of charge thanks to generous donations from individuals, businesses and foundations in the community.

The ALS Association is the only national nonprofit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. The ALS Association covers all the bases — research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy — in providing help and hope to those facing the disease.

The Central & Southern Ohio Chapter focuses primarily on helping local patients and families living with ALS, while the National Office focuses primarily on research and advocacy. Our accomplishments are made possible by the generosity of others. From the smallest donation to the largest gift, donors touch the ALS community with hope for the future.

To learn more about the Walk to Defeat ALS® and the Chapter’s programs, contact the chapter toll free at 866-273-2572 or visit www.ALSohio.org.