The 14th annual South Bay Walk to Defeat ALS brought out hundreds of people to San Jose Saturday.
The event was aimed at raising funds and awareness about ALS and the ALS Association Golden West Chapter. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Nearly 600 walkers, including the chapter's board chair Philip Thomas, made their way along the Guadalupe River Trail and through the streets of downtown San Jose. The two-mile walk kicked off at Arena Green.
Also in attendance were the city's Mayor Sam Liccardo and Lucy Wedemeyer, wife of Charlie Wedemeyer, a long-time Los Gatos High School football coach who lived with ALS from 1978 till his death in 2010.
This year, participants were able to raise $185,656 – or 59 percent – of a $315,000 goal, according to the event’s website.
"We are on the cusp of finding treatment alternatives and potentially finding a cure," Thomas said. "Our motto is that we never give up and the time is now."
The Golden West Chapter serves 1,300 people with ALS and their families in 31 counties through California and the state of Hawaii.
For more information, visit www.alsagoldenwest.org.