The Walk to Defeat ALS welcomed volunteers and sponsors to Browns Island on Saturday to make their steps count. Music and refreshments welcomed men, women, children and people with disabilities. Ride-Away, America’s #1 Vehicle Modifier for People with Disabilities, was a proud Bronze sponsor of the 12th annual Walk to Defeat ALS watering stop.
The volunteers converged on the walking path to raise funds for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS was first described in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease when he abruptly retired from baseball after being diagnosed with ALS. Most commonly, the disease strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70.
It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually and approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or social economic boundaries, is not contagious and it can strike anyone.
Ride-Away, represented by Katie Walter, Jeff Rodgers and Nancy Carey offered water to all who accepted the ALS challenge to walk/roll the course up to six times. As the Richmond Disability Examiner, and the newest member of the Ride-Away family of Mobility Consultants, it was a rewarding experience to volunteer at this event.
The water was showcased in the Ride-Away Chevrolet Silverado 1500 wheelchair accessible truck that is uniquely designed to give mobility options and features that a standard wheelchair accessible vehicle cannot, such as:
- Available in two or four wheel drive
- Vortec 5-3L V8 engine
- Standard lift 750 lbs, higher weights available
- Accommodates wheelchair up to 28” wide
- Can be adapted to accommodate a wheelchair in either the passenger or drive side
Mobility vehicles offer freedom to experience life. Whether you are towing a boat, hauling a load of gravel to a job site, or taking your family and friends on a special outing, this wheelchair accessible truck will get you where you need to go, when you need to go, in a manner that best suits you. This unique truck captured the attention of many walkers; specifically one gentlemen in a Jazzy wheelchair who took the challenge to experience the entry process for himself.
Family, friends and community businesses gathered on Browns Island to support the Walk to Defeat ALS. As of 10/30/2012, the ALS Association – DC / MD / VA Chapter has raised $172,300.12. Although the impending hurricane SANDY was foremost in the minds of all residents of Richmond it did not stop this caring community from reaching out to their local ALS residents.
For more information:
Ride-Away Handicap Equipment Corporation
232 E. Belt Boulevard Richmond, VA 23224
Phone ~ (804)233-8267 Toll Free ~ (866)341-2929
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