Niagara WALK for ALS

Today we are profiling two volunteers from the Niagara WALK for ALS: Debbie Damario and Ashley Dunseith.

Both Debbie and Ashley have lost a loved one to ALS. Now, they dedicate their time to the Niagara WALK for ALS as a way to ensure funds are raised for a future without ALS.

Watch this video for more on the personal experiences that brought them to the WALK for ALS.


Why did you get involved in the WALK for ALS? Do you have a personal connection to the cause?

Debbie: My connection to ALS is my fiancé passed away from ALS five years ago in October. Before he passed away, I promised him that I would not stop fighting until they found a treatment or a cure. So, that’s what I do.

Ashley: The reason I got involved in ALS is because I lost my grandfather to ALS, actually just six days before the 2015 WALK. So we rallied together, pulled our team together, and we’ve walked ever since and will continue to WALK until we find a cure for ALS.

What are some of your roles as WALK for ALS Coordinators and committee members?

Ashley: I started as a team captain and rallied my family together and then I moved into the committee where I took on various roles and then I became a Coordinator for the 2017 WALK. For my first year, it was amazing. Again, no words. I bounce around, I kind of coordinate where everyone goes, kind of find where their strong suits are and then I bounce and I talk to families and I thank them for coming and I just try and get my face out there, just to know that I’m thinking about them and I’m appreciative of them coming out and again jumping around to make sure all the volunteers have what they need and everything’s good, kinda smoothing out anything along the way behind the scenes.

What would you consider to be the most rewarding parts about being a WALK Coordinator and committee member?

Debbie: It’s just all rewarding. From the meetings that we go to every month… I can go to bed at night and know that I have done a great thing. Whether I’ve just sat there and wrote notes, it doesn’t matter. My presence, you know, I feel like it’s all rewarding. Again, there’s no words. A lot of this has really no words, right? You can’t even describe it. It’s something that I never thought I would ever be a part of and, unfortunately, fate made me a part of it and that’s it, it’s just rewarding! I have no favourite part. It’s just all a package.

Ashley: The most rewarding part about being involved in the WALK in general is seeing my family come together and that was really the driving force that brought me into this. But seeing all of the families that come together and the smiles just to be able to participate, the support of just helping their family member that has ALS actually be able to join the WALK with us. I would say that is definitely the most rewarding.

Posted in: Volunteers