SHREVEPORT, LA — The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter’s annual Shreveport Walk to Defeat ALS is scheduled for October 5, 2013 at Betty Virginia Park in Shreveport. Registration for the Walk begins at 9:00 a.m. with the opening ceremony starting at 10:00 a.m.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a 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 of the disease, although military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population.
Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS, and every 90 minutes someone loses their battle to this fatal disease. Living with ALS can cost up to $250,000 annually, depleting families of all savings. A short video  produced by The ALS Association describing the Walk to Defeat ALS can be viewed on The Association’s You Tube Channel.
The event will feature music, children’s activities and more. The event is partially underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Omni, Numotion, Permobil, Pride Mobility Products, Quantum Rehab, and Velocity Care.
“We look forward to this year’s Shreveport Walk, which is our biggest fundraiser, that helps our chapter provide support to those individuals and families living with ALS,” said Kelly Viator, the Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter’s executive director.
The Walk is open to the public, and all funds raised will be donated to the chapter for care services programs in Louisiana and Mississippi; and for national research and awareness. The chapter offers all services to people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families free of charge. Last year, more than 250 walkers raised more than $15,000 for the Shreveport Walk.
In 2012, approximately 175,000 people participated in Walk to Defeat ALS events around the nation, raising $21.7 million to support care services, research and public policy efforts at federal, state and local levels. Since 2000, the nationwide events have experienced constant participant growth and have raised more than $159 million toward the goal of a world without ALS.
To learn more about the Walk to Defeat ALS, call the chapter toll free at (800) 891-3746 or visit our www.walktodefeatals.org .
About The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease 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. To learn more about the Chapter’s care services programs, contact the chapter toll free at (800) 891-3746 or visit our www.alsalams.org .