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'Port Dawgs' come together to fight disease

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joshua Spierer
  • 3rd Aerial Port Squadron
From the moment I saw the advertisement for the Walk to Defeat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," held April 10 in Fayetteville, I knew this was a chance for me and many other members of the 3rd Aerial Port Squadron to join the fight and help save lives throughout the country.

All the energy and excitement was brought forth to stomp out ALS. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

The walk, hosted by the ALS Association, is the national signature event of the ALS Association and funds patient services programs and ALS research. Donations were taken and walkers were sponsored to raise money. This year, more than $39,000 was raised for the association.

The weather was perfect and people throughout the community were out in droves gearing up to walk two miles through the heart of Fayetteville. Some participants carried banners while others wore brightly colored T-shirts with pictures of their families and loved ones and "We walk because" slogans.

As we performed our warm-up stretches, I felt a sense of pride when I looked around and saw so many people brought together for a cause as great as this walk. We gathered around the starting line to view the ribbon cutting ceremony and set off walking. Light conversations picked up among the walkers with stories about their loved ones and the reasons why they attended the walk.

I, for one, was out that morning to be part of the bigger picture and to contribute to the health and wellness of people who are human, just like me. This was an opportunity for the 3rd APS to look beyond Pope, accomplish missions off base and interact with the local community.