HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The ALS Association Golden West Chapter hosts its sixth annual Hawai'i Walk to Defeat ALS, presented by Booz Allen Hamilton, on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Kapiolani Regional Park in Honolulu. The nearly two-mile scenic Walk is open to the public and begins at 9:00 am.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from diagnosis. People with ALS lose their ability to move, speak, swallow and eventually the ability to breathe, while all five senses continue to function normally. ALS strikes women and men of all ages, and knows no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries. Military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. In the later stages of the disease, the annual costs for home care, coupled with the cost of necessary equipment can exceed $200,000 per year. At this time, there is no known cure for ALS.
The Hawai'i Walk to Defeat ALS plays an important role in the Golden West Chapter's efforts to increase direct services and support to those living with the disease, their families, and caregivers throughout the islands. Over the past five years, the Walk has raised $465,000 to establish regional care along with continued outreach into underserved communities. This proactive model of care is provided at no charge and is designed to advance the search for treatments and a cure.
The annual Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS is an opportunity for the ALS community to gather in a show of support and unity, and fuel the search for effective treatments and cures. This year The ALS Association launches its integrated mission campaign - UNLOCK ALS - which underscores the fact that anyone may hold the key to the mysteries of ALS. The program's purpose is to connect participants to each other through their direct experiences with the disease, as well as to The ALS Association, and share them together.
In addition, two new awards will be presented to dedicated individuals and community partners this year. The Hawaii Walk Ohana Honoree will be presented to the Vidinha Family, who lost their patriarch, Steven, last year to ALS and are actively involved in supporting the work of the Golden West Chapter in Hawaii. In addition, the 2018 Hawaii Walk Mission Partner Award will be presented to the Care Center of Honolulu, who provide exceptional residential medical care and support to those living in Hawaii with ALS.
"The family-friendly Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS is a celebration of life," said Jennifer Schack, Regional Director of Community Outreach in Hawaii for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter. "We bring families, friends, supporters and the community together to sustain one another, to share in the victories, to hug through the losses, but most of all to celebrate the friendships they have made on this journey." The event will include a Zumba warm-up and other special local entertainment, along with a Keiki Zone, food and giveaways.
For more information about the event or to register, please visit www.HawaiiWalkToDefeatALS.org.
For more information about ALS and how you can help, please visit www.als-hawaii.org.