On a muggy, cloudy Saturday morning, I participated in an ALS Walk as part of Kathi's Team. My church friend Kathi, pictured in the wheelchair with one of her grandchildren (behind the big elbow -- sorry about that---bad timing with the camera shutter) is fighting a brave battle against ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, and difficulty speaking and swallowing. The debilitating disease has no cure -- yet. That's why dozens of teams and hundreds of individual walkers turned out to raise money to support research that may someday lead to a cure. Most were walking in memory of someone who had died, or in support of someone still fighting the disease.
The walkers wound through Antelope Park, dodging bikers on the bike path, and through a fading rose garden before heading back to the starting point. The last quarter mile we walked in the rain but no one complained. After one of the worst drought years on record, we were all grateful for any moisture!
The photo above shows just a few of the many walkers from Kathi's Team (in yellow). Kathi's elderly mom is the one at the far right using a walker (partially obscured by a tree -- not my day with the camera!). Kathi's mom finished the walk to show her support for her daughter's courageous fight against this cruel disease.
The walk raised $21,771.30 to date, far short of the goal of $45,000.00. Donations are still being accepted at: http://webkwc.alsa.org/site/TR/Walks/KeithWorthington?fr_id=8188&pg=entry.
Perhaps the walk was a living metaphor. We begin life's journey, surrounded and encouraged by friends and family. In the words of one of my favorite oldies, "The road is long, with many a winding turn." There are cloudy days, and tears, but also friends and beautiful gardens, and grandchildren to brighten our days. In the end we return to the Source. I believe all souls have a homing instinct.
LeAnn aka pasqueflower