London WALK for ALS

Making memories and preserving them through photography has always been a way of life for David Liles. As a formerly self-employed photographer, David is used to looking for the best angles in any given situation, making everyday moments a little more extraordinary. This way of moving through life has carried David through his ALS diagnosis, which came in July 2012.

Although he can no longer take photos because the camera is too heavy for his weakened arms to hold, David continues to think positively and enjoys making memories with his loved ones. Participating in the WALK with his wife, Deborah, is something he has been doing over the past five years and he’ll be doing it again at the WALK for ALS in London this Saturday.

“The WALK for ALS is a way to show support for people like me who are living with ALS,” says David. “But it’s also encouraging to be surrounded by people who know about the disease and its impact. I feel a sense of community every year at the WALK.”

David and Deborah Liles sharing an embraceLiving with a disease like ALS comes with many challenges and adjustments, but David says his biggest learning has been to “never be afraid to take a step.” Both literally and metaphorically, David and Deborah have taken steps forward every day since 2012 when the diagnosis hit them “like a tonne of bricks.” Like most, David and Deborah took the time they needed to cry, grieve and process their future, but they didn’t let it keep them down.

“ALS is like a roller coaster – it can progress slowly, plateau, and then take a sharp turn downward. My faith keeps me going and I have shifted my focus into championing the ALS cause.”

David just surpassed his sixth year living with the disease, something he never expected because the life expectancy for people with ALS is typically two to five years. Knowing this, David and Deborah are living day by day and appreciating every moment they have together.

“There’s a song by Tim McGraw that I live by,” says David. “It’s called Live Like You Were Dying, and that’s what I do. I don’t think too much. For now, I just live.”

The WALK for ALS takes place in over 90 communities across Canada until September 22, 2018. Register or donate to a WALK near you at Donations for all WALK for ALS events are being accepted until December 31, 2018.

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