Annual Baton Rouge Walk to Defeat ALS coming up soon - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Annual Baton Rouge Walk to Defeat ALS coming up soon

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) -

The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter's annual Baton Rouge Walk to Defeat ALS will be held on Saturday, October 29 at Zachary Community Park.

The park is located at 20055 Old Scenic Hwy. in Zachary. Registration will begin at 9 a.m., with the opening ceremony to begin at 9:30 a.m.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive, degenerative neurological disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The disease affects people's ability to walk and talk. The disease traps people inside a body they can no longer control, gradually preventing them from breathing. There is no known cause of ALS, although military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop the disease than the general population.

Every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with and dies from ALS. Medical costs of living with this disease can reach up to $250,000 every year. 

The event will feature music, food, activities for kids, and much more. 

"We look forward to this year's Baton Rouge walk, which is our biggest fundraiser, that helps our chapter provide support to those individuals and families living with ALS," said Kelly Viator, executive director of the Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter.

The event is open to the public and all money raised will be donated to the chapter for service programs in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as for national research and awareness. The chapter offers services to those suffering from ALS and their families at no charge. Last year's walk raised more than $233,500 and more than 1,100 walkers attended.

In 2015, it is estimated that around 200,000 people participated in Walk to Defeat ALS events nationwide, raising over $26 million to support care services, research, and awareness efforts. Since 2000, nationwide events have raised more than $191 million toward the goal of world free from ALS.

For more information about the event, call 800-891-3746 or visit walktodefeatals.org.

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