This past Sunday, September 22nd, the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter hosted the 13th Annual Long Island Walk to Defeat ALS – the largest ALS Walk in the country. Over 190 teams and 5,000 Walkers gathered at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow to raise funds and awareness in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Several local teams participated in the Walk, including Team NY Mustachios of East Meadow. Captained by Jeannine Longo, who lost her Uncle Danny to ALS just this Spring, the team walks in Danny's memory. Jeannine noted about her late uncle, "He was a special man and inspirational in so many ways. Not just to his family but to all those around him. Always positive and smiling, no matter what the challenges may be, Uncle Danny was there cracking jokes and helping us all see the gratitude he held for life, family, friends and great food!! He was a devoted husband, proud father, and loving grandfather. He was also a US Air Force Vet whose face always lit up with talk of air and space travel!" Together, the team raised over $1,400 for ALS research and patient care services.
Original Co-Host of ABC’s The View Debbie Matenopoulous, who lost her father to ALS, served as Grand Marshall of the Long Island Walk and former New York Ranger Ron Greschner was on hand signing hockey pucks and greeting the crowd.
The Greater New York Chapter hosts this and six other Walks in the New York / New Jersey region throughout the year. Last year the Walks to Defeat ALS raised a combined total of over $2 million for ALS research and patient care services. In addition to funding cutting-edge research, the money raised at the Long Island Walk is used to support the ALS Association multidisciplinary clinic at Stony Brook University Hospital, conduct nursing and social work home visits to people with ALS living on Long Island, loan medical and augmentative communication equipment, provide transportation access for patients to gets to medical appointments, and to facilitate ALS support groups for patients and their families in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal neuromuscular disease. Approximately 30,000 Americans are currently living with ALS, with 5,600 new diagnoses each year. Upon diagnosis, the average life expectancy is just 2-5 years.
It's not too late to be a part of the Walk. To donate, please go online and visit the Long Island Walk to Defeat ALS webpage at - www.alswalks.org. For more information on the Walk, contact Sarah Pattison at (212) 720-3042 or firstname.lastname@example.org.