September 22 is the first official day of fall and you know what that means? It’s almost time for the annual Walk to Defeat ALS – a community celebration of HOPE across the state of Texas. We walk to celebrate those who are bravely fighting ALS and to honor the legacy of those who have passed from this disease. This year, we’re walking in eight cities across Texas!
All our walk locations have been carefully chosen to provide safe walking trails for friends and families to put their fight into action while also having fun, and in whatever way you can and want to; walking, jogging, and yes-rolling in your power wheelchair!
When you join the Walk to Defeat ALS, you show fellow Texans with ALS and their families that they are not alone. One of the things I love most about the Walk to Defeat ALS is the tons of SMILES. So many smiles. Families connect with others that truly understand the journey. Youth and children meet other kids that live a life similar to their own- “I didn’t know that there were other kids like me!” Friends get to finally meet, hug and laugh together IN PERSON. Our ALS Texas community locks arms like no other and bravely fights to create a world without ALS.
There are also other less obvious reasons for those smiles. Did you know that supporting a cause that you are passionate about is good for your mental health? It releases happy chemicals in your brain, including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Not only will you feel good knowing you are helping so many people, but you will also feel good sharing a bond with the people who are walking and rolling by your side, be it a friend, team-mate, or even your colleagues from work. Being happy also means being less stressed, which is also great for your emotional well-being and mental health!
Acts of service also help give us purpose and allow us to truly feel part of a community and goal larger than ourselves. Did I mention that our ALS Texas community is an amazing family to be a part of? We are so much better and stronger together!
As well as changing the lives of others, when we are called to action for the things that matter most to us, it can benefit us in ways we would never think of.
Fulfill personal reasons
You likely have very personal reasons that inspire you to join the Walk to Defeat ALS, like supporting a cause that has affected you as an individual living with ALS, your family, or a friend. With a few steps walked, jogged, or rolled, you could be helping to fund our equipment loan program, multidisciplinary clinics near you, or critical connection and support from our ALS Texas team.
Support a cause close to your heart
Joining the Walk to Defeat ALS is more than just providing a donation. There is POWER in being physically present to fight ALS. Your participation expands beyond just the financial contribution by strengthening community resilience in support efforts.
Join a family of compassionate people
Participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS is like walking with and for your extended family. There is a sincere sense of camaraderie when people come together in a unified effort. There will always be someone next to you to lift your spirits or motivate you to reach the finish line.
Help raise awareness
Be proactive about the Walk to Defeat ALS and encourage others to take a step forward with you.
Meet new people from the community
People who regularly participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS become family. This is a wonderful way to meet new people and make new friends. You already have something in common – you are passionate about the same thing!
If you have not formed or joined a team already-what are you waiting for? You still have time to register, and our team is ready to help you every step of the way! Visit alstexas.org/walk-to-defeat-als/ to get started, and we can’t wait to see YOU soon!
-Tonya Hitschmann, Managing Director of Care Services