Beat Feet for ALS walk raises critically needed funds for patients

woman with two little girls
A moment from a previous Beat Feet for ALS Walk.

Patients, families, employees and friends will Beat Feet for ALS at 8:30 a.m. Saturday,  Sept. 28, at Augusta’s Riverwalk in an effort to raise money for the Augusta University ALS Clinic.

Nearly 15,000 Americans suffer from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) with an average of 5,000 new cases each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ALS is a progressive disease that causes nerve cells to stop working and die, resulting in muscles becoming weak and paralyzed. The illness is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named for the late first baseman and power hitter for the New York Yankees. Gehrig was stricken with the neurodegenerative disease that causes muscular atrophy and forced into retirement at age 36. It claimed his life just two years later.

The effects of the disease vary, and many people can see improved quality of life in their last years with the help of nationally accredited clinics like the two operated by experts at Augusta University. The ALS team sees patients on the second Friday of each month in Augusta and the fourth Friday of each month at a satellite clinic in Macon. They assess disease progression, functional status and family concerns, as well as equipment, transportation and referral needs. In addition, family and caregiver training and support are incorporated into the time spent with each patient.

ALS treatment can cost the patient hundreds of thousands of dollars, and many of the therapies and special equipment needs are not covered by health insurance. Fundraising support is critically needed to purchase wheelchair ramps, home modifications and speech and breathing assistance devices. Funds are also used to purchase items for patients and families who are under financial strains due to ALS.

Register for the 2019 Beat Feet for ALS walk or consider making a donation.

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Danielle Harris
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Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or deharris1@augusta.edu.

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Danielle Harris Written by Danielle Harris

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