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West Kootenay Move to Cure ALS goes Saturday

Service for Aladina Sheets to be held before walk

The annual West Kootenay ALS fundraiser at Gyro Park on Saturday, June 1, will be especially meaningful this year.

West Kootenay ‘Move to Cure ALS’ began three years ago when the Greater Trail community joined forces in support of Aladina Sheets, a Trail mom, wife, sister and friend to many, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in March 2022.

Sheets was born and raised in Trail and worked as an RN in the operating room at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital for just shy of 30 years. She was very involved in the community and could often been seen in the Sud Shack at Trail Smoke Eater games.

Sadly, on April 22, 2024, Aladina Sheets passed away at the age of 55 from this presently incurable disease

“Aladina Sheets’ service will be held right before the walk as many family and friends are travelling here for both,” says Pam Caron of “Team Aladina,” and coordinator of the 2023 and 2024 West Kootenay Move to Cure ALS event.

“It will be a very emotional day but a day where family, friends and community come together to stand strong against ALS.”

Sheets was a huge driver for this event and purple happened to be her favorite colour, so supporters for the 2024 fundraiser are encouraged to wear purple on June 1.

Registration opens at Gyro Park, 1 p.m. Start time is 2 p.m.

Shortly after 2 p.m., before the walk commences around the Sunningdale loop, there will be a group photo in the park.

“Wear your purple and come out and support,” says Caron, adding that Bounce Radio will be on location and Kootenay Savings Credit Union will be hosting a barbeque by donation.

There will also be an ALS BC representative on site.

Learn more online by searching “2024 Move to Cure ALS-West Kootenay.”

Move to Cure ALS is the major fundraiser for the ALS Society of BC, which brings together family and friends in support of the disease.

People come together to “Move,” be it by walking, running, rolling, riding or just being present and showing support.

One hundred per cent of net proceeds from Move to Cure ALS go to support patient services programs (60 per cent) and research (40 per cent) through Project Hope.

On behalf of “Team Aladina,” last month (April 9), Caron accepted, via Zoom, a prestigious ALS Event of the Year Award during a “Celebration of Volunteerism and Service” ceremony hosted in Richmond, by the ALS Society of BC.

The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding “Move” for ALS.

The award recognizes and celebrates outstanding contributions and achievement in developing the “Move” event to its fullest potential by bringing new or innovative additions to the walk program, building local community awareness and participation, and achieving extraordinary fundraising results over a period of a year.

“Winning this award shows what an amazing, generous, and loving community we have,” Caron says.

Kudos goes out to all of our sponsors and volunteers that helped make the day such a success, she adds.

“There were 14 events held across the province last year and the West Kootenay had the second largest number of movers/supporters.”

The 2023 West Kootenay event collectively raised almost $67,000 for the cause, adding to $20,000+ raised in its inaugural year.

“We directly saw these funds being used to support Aladina,” Caron explains. “The ALS Equipment Loan Program provided bed equipment, wheelchairs, ceiling lift and communication technology plus all the supports.

“The communication technology that is provided to people that are unable to speak is absolutely amazing. Words cannot express the gratitude that we have for this program.”

Organizers thank Greater Trail for supporting this cause.

“This year we already have overwhelming support from the community,” Caron adds.

“Wear your purple and come out and support on June 1!”

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About ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects the person’s motor neurons that carry messages to the muscles resulting in weakness and wasting in arms, legs, mouth, throat and elsewhere. Typically, the person is immobilized within two to five years of the initial diagnosis. There is no known cause or cure, but there is hope through the ALS Society of BC.

About ALS BC

June is ALS Awareness Month in Canada, a time dedicated to raising awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This devastating disease affects approximately 3,000 Canadians and their families. The ALS Society of British Columbia was founded in 1981 by Dr. Andrew Eisen. The society helps ALS patients and family members meet the physical and emotional needs of people living with the disease. The mission is to cure ALS through funding research, while advocating for and supporting people living with ALS.

Sheri Regnier

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