June iS ALS AwAreneSS Month in cAnAdA. in eAch province, pubLic AwAreneSS And FundrAiSing cAMpAignS wiLL be cArried out throughout the Month.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has no known cause, no cure and no effective treatment yet. It affects the nervous system and over time, people with ALS lose the ability to eat, drink, walk and breathe. Eventually they cannot hug or speak to those they love. There are approximately 2,500 – 3,000 Canadians living with ALS today and 80 per cent will usually die within two to five years due to respiratory failure.

Lou Gehrig retired from baseball in June and when he died of ALS in 1941, it was also in June. Since 1997, The International Alliance of ALS has celebrated June 21 of every year as the global day of recognition of ALS. The solstice falls on June 21, which is known as a turning point – a day which represents hope that one day a cure for ALS will be found. This date allows individuals around the globe to share in a day that connects them all.

“ALS Awareness Month creates the opportunity to increase public awareness about ALS and to raise funds for much needed research into the causes, treatments and a cure for ALS, as well as providing support to those with this fatal disease,” says David Cameron, president and CEO of ALS Canada.

The WALK for ALS is the national signature event of ALS Canada. This event helps to increase awareness of ALS and raise money for equipment and support services for people living with ALS, as well as research to find a cure. It is a joint effort between ALS Canada and the provincial ALS societies to support ALS research and client services. From its modest beginning in 2001 in just eight communities, the Walks have grown significantly. In 2010, more than $2.5 million was raised by more than 78 communities across the country. Most of the Walks take place in June and September. For information on how to participate in your local walk, please visit www.walkforals.ca.

ALS Canada, founded in 1977, is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS and support for those living with ALS. The Society funds research towards a cure for ALS, supports our provincial partners in the provision of quality care for those living with ALS, and provides information to build awareness about the disease. The vision of ALS Canada is to find a cure for ALS.

ALS Canada provides resources and information for caregivers and people living with ALS. The provincial societies develop local chapters and support groups and provide direct support to people with ALS and their families and caregivers. They also offer information and referrals, support for those affected by ALS, manage equipment programs and engage in advocacy for people with ALS, their families, physicians and health-care providers.

For more information please visit: www.als.ca.