Kitchener/Waterloo WALK for ALS

According to Brian Heaney, the Kitchener/Waterloo WALK for ALS is the “best day of the year.” As a dedicated participant attending the WALK for his eighth year in a row, Brian has a robust understanding of what the WALK for ALS in his community is all about – and he looks forward to attending with his family once again this ALS Awareness Month.

ALS is an incredibly challenging disease that has the power to steal dreams, abilities and lives. It’s why people like Brian Heaney are raising funds and awareness to change the course of the disease and create a brighter future.

ALS family at a Blue Jays Game“ALS takes a lot away from you, but I don’t dwell on this,” Brian writes over email, as his voice has weakened. “Instead, I focus on what I can still do in the here and now. I try and remain positive and give back more than I take.”

Brian certainly has found a way to give back. In the past eight years, Heaney’s Heroes have raised over $150,000 for ALS Canada. To this day, they remain one of the top teams in Kitchener/Waterloo, generating more hope with every dollar raised. Forty percent of proceeds from the WALK for ALS events across the country support peer-reviewed ALS research, and 60 percent support direct community-based support for people and families living with ALS.

The WALK isn’t the only way Brian takes action. As someone who is committed to creating a Regional Manager reading pamphlet to clientfuture without ALS, Brian says he has participated in numerous research studies and clinical trials.

“Researchers are only now starting to understand ALS as a disease,” says Brian. “I have received so much from ALS Canada, from equipment to 1:1 support. I just want to give back.”

Working with their local Regional Manager and other people living with ALS in the community, Brian and his wife, Tammie, encouraged the launch of a support group in Kitchener that brings clients and caregivers together once a month.

Brian and friend at WALK for ALS“It is a great opportunity to meet other patients, their families and caregivers and to share stories, experiences and knowledge in a friendly social setting,” says Brian. These support groups are one of the many ways he and his family contribute to this cause we all share.

“I have been blessed over the years with overwhelming support from family, friends, co-workers and my daughters’ teammates and friends. What I love most about the WALK is that it gives me an excuse to email everyone I know! Some people make donations and some send nice messages. We regularly have about 60 people on our team at the WALK and many of them come back to our home after the event for a barbecue. It’s a very uplifting day.”

On June 9, you can find Brian and his band of heroes at Waterloo Public Square, proudly donning their bright yellow shirts.

The WALK for ALS takes place in over 90 communities across Canada until September 2018. Register or donate to a WALK near you at Donations for all WALK for ALS events are being accepted until December 31, 2018.

Posted in: WALK for ALS