Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Residents deserve applause for generosity
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a horrible illness. It is a degenerative disease that slowly causes nerve cells to waste away and die, taking away the victim's ability to move their arms, legs or body, eventually causing death.
Victorians are familiar with this disease. Some of our own have suffered from its effects for years. We followed Craig Fox and his family through daily life with a father struggling against a disease that crippled him and forced his children to act as caretakers. The Fox family allowed Advocate staff members to follow them and document their experience, including a moving documentary called "Breadth of Hope" by former Advocate intern Drew Stewart, which gave us all a glimpse of the turmoil this brave man and his family faced every day. Even when Fox died in 2011, the family allowed us to be with them and share the complete picture of a life touched by ALS.
There are more people in Victoria fighting ALS, and the fourth annual Stroll, Roll 'n' Run 5K event at Riverside Park on Sunday showed just how much members of the Victoria community care. This one event raised more than $40,000 for the ALS Therapy Development Institute to be used for medical research. Victorians took part in the event that included races for runners, walkers and those in wheelchairs, as well as a silent auction, pre-race devotional and an attempt to set a new world record for the longest game of dominoes.
This level of generosity is amazing, and we applaud everyone who took part in this event to raise awareness and money to fund ALS research. We are proud to see Victorians and other Crossroads residents give so much to support others who suffer from such a dreadful disease.
We are especially impressed with the Rev. Bill Hassel, who suffers from ALS, for his efforts founding and organizing this event every year. He may be affected by the disease, but even when he is confined to a wheelchair, he does not let it slow him down. His drive to help others and reach out to fellow ALS patients is amazing, and we applaud him for that.
Most of all, we want to thank everyone involved in this effort, from the organizers who made it happen to the residents who attended and helped raise money and awareness. Thank you for caring for others. ALS awareness is a cause especially close to our hearts, and we are glad so many people are willing to help search for a cure.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.