Statement Banner

, MLA St. Norbert
June 17, 2013

ALS Awareness Month

Mr. Speaker, June marks ALS Awareness Month. ALS is a rapid, fatal neuromuscular disease that affects the brain and leads to eventual paralysis and death. Approximately 3,000 Canadians and over 260 Manitobans are affected by this disease for which there is no known cure.

The ALS Society of Manitoba offers several programs to support those living with ALS, their families and their caregivers. Executive Director Diana Rasmussen and her dedicated team of staff provide direct care, counselling, education, equipment, advocacy and information for clients and their families. They raise funds to support client services and ALS research, and they also promote awareness, education and understanding of ALS to the general public, medical profession and also caregivers.

This June, people across Canada are participating in ALS Awareness Month. In Manitoba, the ALS Society held its Walk for ALS on June 1st. The event raised funds to go towards research as well as towards the ALS Society of Manitoba’s support programs. The members for Kirkfield Park and Assiniboia attended the 5-kilometer walk in Assiniboine Park, a beautiful, family-friendly event that included music and face painting. It gave a lift of hope, so needed by those living with ALS.

This weekend, the ALS Society of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Goldeyes are hosting ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Night in memory of baseball player Lou Gehrig, whose name has become synonymous with ALS. Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech will be read at centre field before the game, and volunteers will be collecting donations to support the ALS Society of Manitoba’s important work. I encourage all honourable members, and all Manitobans, to help support those coping with ALS.

Mr. Speaker, many of us don’t realize how lucky we are to be in good health until we lose that privilege. I would like to commend the ALS Society of Manitoba for their mission of “HOPE” – to Help Our People Every way they can – and their dedication to those living with ALS. Thank you for making moments matter.