Walk to Defeat ALS to be held at SLO park on Saturday

slinn@thetribunenews.comApril 9, 2013 

Hundreds of people will gather at a San Luis Obispo park Saturday to raise awareness about ALS.

About 450 people are expected to participate in Saturday’s San Luis Obispo County Walk to Defeat ALS at Mitchell Park, according to Julie Himot, regional director of signature events for the Golden West chapter of the ALS Association.

About 240 people have signed up for the event so far, Himot said.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, affecting people’s ability to move, speak, swallow and breathe.

All funds raised by Walk to Defeat ALS participants benefit the Golden West chapter of the ALS Association, which serves people with ALS and their families in 31 California counties.

Although the San Luis Obispo walk is in its second year, Himot said the ALS Association held fundraising events in the area from 2004 to 2009 and again in 2011.

Registration for the one-mile walk is free. Online registration closes at 4 p.m. Thursday, but interested participants can also register in person starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Following an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m., the walk kicks off at 11 a.m. at Mitchell Park, 1400 Osos St., and winds through downtown San Luis Obispo before returning to the park.

For more information, call 818-865-8067, ext. 240, or visit www.walktodefeatals.org.

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