SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” affects nearly 30 thousand people across the United States.
Saturday, dozens of local residents are participating in a walk to raise awareness for ALS, and fight for a cure.
The Walk to Defeat ALS was held at Forest Park in Springfield. This walk has been held across the U.S. every year for the past 15 years to raise money and awareness for ALS.
Supporters raised $50,000 to help Bill Wzorek and those like him who suffer from ALS. Wzorek said, “It started out in October of ’13; I noticed my hand was atrophying. Not realizing what it was, I thought it was a matter of old age. My daughter came into the garage, asked me to open a bottle, which I couldn’t. She thought I was joking. And then from there it’s to the doctor’s.”
ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The disease weakens muscles, making it more difficult to walk, talk, move, swallow, and even breathe. There is no cure for the disease, and those who are diagnosed have an average life expectancy of five years or less.