Ready to Walk to Defeat ALS Again in Ocean City
By Teresa Wright-Gustray
After being diagnosed with ALS in April of 2017, I was focused on raising awareness of this disease. ALS I am not going to merely “live with” this disease. I will not tolerate ALS. Instead, from day one, I have decided to do something about it and to fight ALS every way that I can.
Last September was my first Walk to Defeat ALS in Ocean City, NJ. I had quite a turnout from family and friends. You can read about the journey that led to my first walk here. It was such an uplifting experience and I feel so blessed to have so many people who continue to root for me. On Walk day, I won two awards. One was for first place individual fundraiser and the other was for being the third place overall team fundraiser. I treasure those medals and that day. With such a warm response from everyone, how could I stop? How could I say this was enough? I had to do more.
The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter has many great events. Each one is enjoyable in its own way, but I appreciate getting to know others like me dealing with the same situation. Each person is different, but we have something very serious in common. It is good to know that none of us are alone. We have our families. We have the Chapter. We have each other. And we will not stop.
One of the first Chapter events I attended after the Walk to Defeat ALS was a family day at Longwood Gardens. My family met many other families as we took in the beautiful scenery. The flowers were very pretty, but what I still smile about today were the puddles. The fountains made puddles all along the sidewalk and we could stomp away at them, splashing with our feet throughout the park. I thought of it like ALS, something that we also can stomp away at if we try.
Next I participated in the Ride to Defeat ALS. I was an avid bike rider before ALS. I completed the ten-mile ride in just under an hour. My son actually ran 10 miles to support me! It means so much to have wave after wave of positivity. Just days after the bike ride, I was thrilled to attend the Phillies Phestival with my brother and sister. Our family has rooted for the Phillies going all the way back to Connie Mack Stadium. I was so impressed with the compassion and kindness shown to us by the players and their wives. Instead of rushing, they all took so much time to listen and get to know us. They’re not just a first place team in their division, they’re a first place team in my heart. This year, they raised over $725,000 to Strike Out ALS and they have no interest in stopping.
Seeing the other ALS families, Ride teams, and the Phillies all going full speed to fight ALS, I knew I couldn’t stop either. As soon as I had the chance, I registered again for the Ocean City Walk to Defeat ALS. This time, I know what to expect and I can’t wait to join others for this special day. You should join us. Sign up now to be there on September 15 by registering at www.oceancitywalktodefeatals.org Trust me, it will be one of the best days of the year and you won’t want to miss it.
I am very grateful to The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter for providing so much hope and support.The best way that I can show that gratitude is to continue to be involved in every way that I can. I’m bringing my positivity to the Ocean City Board…Walk to Defeat ALS and I’m not stopping there. I need you on my team. All of us facing ALS need you on our teams. Get involved and be a part of this Walk or a Walk near you today.
Once you start with the Walk to Defeat ALS, you don’t know where it will take you next, but trust me, it’s worth it.