Join the Lowell Smith Walk to Defeat ALS and Help The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter Fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease

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The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter announces its annual Syracuse Lowell Smith Walk to Defeat ALS® on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at Syracuse Inner Harbor, West Kirkpatrick Street, Syracuse, N.Y. Registration for the Walk begins at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremony starting at 10 a.m.

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I’m happy to be helping The ALS Association raise awareness about ALS and to draw attention to the fact that ALS comes in many varieties, none of them good. No two people with ALS are alike.

The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter announces its annual Syracuse Lowell Smith Walk to Defeat ALS® on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at Syracuse Inner Harbor, West Kirkpatrick Street, Syracuse, N.Y. Registration for the Walk begins at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremony starting at 10 a.m. The Walk bears the name of Lowell Smith who was a retired executive with Dairylea Corporation who passed away from ALS in 2005. The Walk is open to the public, and all funds raised will be donated to The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding the cause of and cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating and fatal neuromuscular disease that is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

This year’s Walk to Defeat ALS will be led by “Honorary Spokesperson” Tom Ruhlman and family of Skaneateles along with their walk team, “Tom’s Team.” Ruhlman was diagnosed with ALS and FTD, (frontotemporal dementia) which is a type of disorder that affects social behavior, mood, and the ability to process or produce speech, rather than memory. Ruhlman is pleased to be associated with the Walk this year. “I’m happy to be helping The ALS Association raise awareness about ALS and to draw attention to the fact that ALS comes in many varieties, none of them good. No two people with ALS are alike,” he said.

“We are honored and thrilled that Tom and his team will lead the participants on a new course this year—the Onondaga Creekwalk,” said Kathy Lahey, the chapter’s Executive Director. “We’ll introduce more games and prizes to the kids’ area, and team photos will be available to take home on Walk day making it more family-friendly.” Lahey added that Walk to Defeat ALS t-shirts will be given to anyone raising $50 or more.

Unless a cure is found, more than 30,000 Americans living today will die from ALS. The financial cost to families of persons with ALS can be up to $250,000 per year, depleting entire savings of patients and their relatives.

“Tom is raising money in memory of Eric Lowen, a talented song-writer and singer who was half of the folk rock group Lowen and Navarro. Lowen was diagnosed with ALS in 2004 and died in March of this year at age 60,” said Ruhlman’s wife, Lori Ruhlman. “Tom learned about Lowen and Navarro early on in his own disease, and their song lyrics really spoke to him. Their words—like those in the signature song ‘Learning to Fall’—don’t just address ALS but the joys, losses and challenges we all experience in life.” Lori Ruhlman said, “We hope many will join us on September 22 to support the Walk. We are so appreciative of the support we’ve received in daily life and in our efforts to raise money and awareness for The ALS Association.”

The ALS Association is funded solely by donations, and the chapter offers services to people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families free of charge. To learn more about the Walk to Defeat ALS, contact the chapter toll free at 866-499-7257 or visit http://www.alsaupstateny.org.

The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, Upstate New York Chapter, visit our website at http://www.alsaupstateny.org.

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