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Raising funds for ALS

Published in Castanet.net June 13, 2021, written by Jayden Wasney

The Kelowna Virtual Walk to End ALS is coming up on June 19, and there are plenty of ways to get yourself involved

The Kelowna Virtual Walk to End ALS is coming up on June 19, and there are plenty of ways to get involved.

Darryl Borsato has been living with ALS for four years. He says the ALS virtual walk is very important, because it creates awareness and puts faces to the names of those dealing with the disease, instead of sweeping the issue under the rug.

“The walk is all about awareness, awareness is really important,” Borsato said. “One of the things we’ve really tried to do over the last year is give voices and faces to those with ALS, so that people can see this isn’t just some mysterious disease that affects people you don’t know. It’s affecting people in your community right now.”

ALS B.C. has been a key player in pushing for “Project Hope,” which would help bring clinical trials back to B.C., and Borsato says those trials are needed right now for those living with ALS.

“It’s essential. It’s probably the most important thing that we can be doing right now other than getting new drugs to patients, is to get access to clinical trials,” he said. “Really, for most ALS patients it’s their only hope in participating in something that could lead to a treatment of a cure one day.”

Sara McDonald is another huge advocate for the Virtual Walk to End ALS. Also impacted by ALS, she doesn’t let that stop her from pushing for awareness and donations.

“I was diagnosed with bulbar onset ALS in January 2020. Since then, I have lost the ability to eat, drink, or speak and I have impaired mobility. However, I can still fundraise for ALS,” said McDonald.

McDonald also wants to invite anyone to join her at 11 a.m. on June 19 to walk around Munsen Pond, and to make a donation to “Sara’s Squad” which has raised over $17,000, click here. Please note that dogs are not permitted at the pond.

Mcdonald raises funds as an individual, and Borsato raises as a team. It’s considered a bit of a friendly competition to see who can raise more for ALS.

“It’s like we’re competing but we’re not competing, we just have so much fun with it,” said Borsato. His wife, Chrissy Borsato has also pledged to match up to $50,000 for all the donations that go towards Team Quick Grow. If you’d like to make a donation, click here. Their team was the largest fundraising team last year.

As the province of British Columbia doesn’t currently have any clinical trials for ALS patients, and getting new drugs can also take years to be approved, those living with ALS need awareness and support more than ever. You can register to fundraise as an individual like Sara McDonald, or start up a team like Darryl Borsato and his wife Chrissy by simply clicking here.

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