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People walk to fight against ALS

9:47 PM, Oct 6, 2012   |    comments
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People walked to fight against the ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, at Farragut High School on Saturday morning.

The Knoxville Walk to Defeat ALS" benefited the Tennessee chapter of the ALS Association. This group's efforts include buying wheelchairs, communication devices and funding critical research.

Eight hundred people walked to support the group and its effort this morning.

ALS is a disease which attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord controlling voluntary muscle movement. These cells will eventual die, which leads to weakening of the muscles, inability to move the arms, legs and body. Gradually muscles in the chest will stop working, making it difficult or impossible for sufferers to breathe on their own.

One of the walk's participants Sheila Braden knows first-hand the devastating effects of this disease. Her husband has ALS.

"Over the course of three years, Mike can no longer walk, he can no longer speak, he has trouble breathing, he can't eat. He has to eat through a feeding tube," Braden said. "It completely changes your life because you go from a couple, to a patient and caregiver. It's devastating."

Seventy people joined Sheila Braden's team this year, walking for her husband, Mike. She cut the ribbon for this event.

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