The Advocate

Dinner, walk to aid disease research

Supporters+can+fill+piggy+banks+with+loose+change+and+donate+them+at+the+Johnstown+Walk+to+Defeat+ALS+%28Lou+Gehrig%E2%80%99s+disease%29+event+on+campus+July+28.+
Supporters can fill piggy banks with loose change and donate them at the Johnstown Walk to Defeat ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) event on campus July 28.

Supporters can fill piggy banks with loose change and donate them at the Johnstown Walk to Defeat ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) event on campus July 28.

Jane Stueckemann

Jane Stueckemann

Supporters can fill piggy banks with loose change and donate them at the Johnstown Walk to Defeat ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) event on campus July 28.

Jane Stueckemann, Managing Editor

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Whether community members like to gamble or like to walk, a sclerosis association’s Western Pennsylvania Chapter members are planning two events in the next few months to raise money to fight a disease that does not have a cure.

Scott Steinkirchner, who calls the Johnstown area home, helps to organize both events. His mother was diagnosed with and died from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 1997.

The disease progressively attacks a person’s nervous system, causing muscles to lock up and, eventually, lungs, so that they lose the ability to breathe.

He said the experience of seeing his mom fight the disease created his passion to help others and their families who are affected.

“We felt that nothing had changed. We wanted to support others,” Steinkirchner said.

So, five or six years ago, he organized a yearly dinner and auction to raise more funds to fight the disease.

This year, the event is to be a casino night (with the gaming just for fun) and auction. It is to be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 28 at the Stoystown American Legion.

Attendees can purchase tickets for $25, which includes food, drinks and casino games, online at www.dozy4cure.com.

Steinkirchner said this year the goal is to raise $10,000, and they are still looking for more event sponsors, as well as donated auction items.

All proceeds are to support the sclerosis association’s Western Pennsylvania Chapter’s work, which has three priorities: patient care, advocacy and research.

Merritt Spier, who is the association chapter executive director, said that, last year, they spent over $1 million on care services to help more than 350 families in the area.

“It is our belief that (the disease) can be a very isolating disease, because of the nature of it—it has no cure. We believe that no family or anyone should have to navigate the whole process, the journey of (the disease), alone,” Spier said.

According to the association website, it can cost up to $250,000 per year to care for someone living with the disease.

Spier said chapter members also helped to provide over 20 speech devices, almost 100 wheelchairs and paid for 5,000 respite care hours.

Steinkirchner said that, if his family could have had that type of help years ago, it would have made a big difference.

Donna Boring, who is fighting the disease and attends association events with her team “Donna’s Divas,” said the events are so special because she feels overwhelming support there.

“Every one of them is fantastic,” Boring said.

Spier said she agreed, and added that there is something special about this season’s second event, the Johnstown Walk to Defeat ALS.

“The Johnstown community and the people who participate in that walk take ownership of it. They’re a very active, close-knit community, and they blow it out of the water every year,” Spier said.

Spier said that this walk wins awards every year because it has the highest number of returning walkers in the U.S.

“I should be over my surprise by this point, but I’m not. I’m so amazed at the turnout and dedication each year,” Spier said.

This year’s walk is to be held July 28 at Pitt-Johnstown.

Steinkirchner said that they are still looking for sponsors for this event, and that the goal is to raise at least $80,000.

In addition, association members give out small colored piggy banks, called Pigs For Change, that people can fill with change and take to the event.

“We represent the whole western half of the state, and there are a lot of patients in the area. We know that we can help.

“(The event) energizes people who are battling (the disease), and it reminds them that they’re human,” Steinkirchner said.

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Corrine
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Corrine

i was diagnosed 2011. i was diagnosed with the bulbar form of ALS and was given one year to live. My symptoms progressed quickly. Soon i was having difficulty breathing, swallowing and even walking short distances. With the help of Natural Herbal Garden natural herbs I have been able to reverse my symptoms using diet, herbs, which i feel has made the most difference. The ALS natural formula immensely helped my condition, it reversed my ALS. my slurred speech. And then the inability to eat without getting choked, breathing, and coughing. gradually disappeared. Visit NATURAL HERBAL GARDENS via their official… Read more »

chantelle
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chantelle

My ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) symptoms started out with muscle weakness, stiffness and slurred speech. My primary physician prescribed riluzole and radicava to reduce symptoms and slow down progression but I could not tolerate them for long due to severe side effects. I decided to adopt a more natural approach and started on ALS Herbal formula from RICH HERBS FOUNDATION, the ALS natural formula immensely helped my condition, i had a total recovery from ALS with this natural herbal formula treatment. Rich herbs foundation official web site ww w. richherbsfoundation. co m. I feel alive again!

HOWELL
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HOWELL

I was diagnosed with ALS in April 2017 and I decided to fight this naturally by better diet, natural herbs, organic food, and eliminating all toxins in my life. I can gladly say my fight is over, after using ALS herbal remedy I purchased from Best Health Herbal Centre, the herbal remedy drastically slowed my progression the first week of usage and reversed my ALS the last week of usage. I used the ALS herbal remedy for only six weeks. I am a man of faith and I believe that when HOPE is lost ALS wins. Believe you can beat… Read more »

ryn jacop
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ryn jacop

My mother was diagnosed with ALS in May 2015. Her doctor put her on riluzole, letting her know there was no cure.the symptoms started out with a “foot drop” on her left foot. From there her left leg lost all muscle tone and then the entire left leg muscles was gone.total cure herbal foundation was her only means of getting rid of this disease totally after several years of medical treatment,you can as well place your order via totalcureherbsfoundation. com they have the right herbal formula that help get rid of ALS totally

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Dinner, walk to aid disease research