For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — The fourth annual ALS Steps for Hope Saturday, Sept. 9, in Marshfield is a chance to honor loved ones who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), remember those who have passed, and raise funds for research that one day will lead to a cure.
The public is invited to join ALS Steps for Hope for a one-mile walk or 5K fun run through Wildwood Park and Zoo. Register at marshfieldclinic.org/als-steps-for-hope or prior to the race beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 9.
A family welcome with guest speaker Dr. Jaime Boero, who leads ALS research at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, begins at 10:45 a.m. followed by the 5K at 11 a.m. and the walk at 11:15 a.m. At noon everyone is invited for the family picnic lunch. Then at 12:30 p.m. fun run awards will be given, and door prize and raffle winners will be announced. There will be a children’s area with face painting, balloons, bubbles, an obstacle course, and a bounce house.
Cost is $25 for adults and children 12 years and older. Registration includes a T-shirt, lunch, and a chance for door prizes. Children under 12 are $5. Participants can form a team and create their own fundraising page at als-steps-for-hope.everydayhero.do.
ALS Steps for Hope was first held in 2014 by the Braun family to honor John Braun, who lost his battle to ALS in February 2014. The event was started to raise funds for ALS research at Marshfield Clinic but also to provide ALS awareness to the community and central Wisconsin. More than $18,000 has been raised for ALS research at Marshfield Clinic through the first three years of the event.
“This event is about more than just raising funds for research. It’s about hope, awareness, and coming together to make a difference in a community that continues to lose loved ones to a deadly disease,” said Lynn Braun, event coordinator. “There are so many families who have been brought together through our event, and they are able to share their stories. It is honestly the very reason we are on our fourth annual event.”
Braun family members have been subjects of ALS research through Marshfield Clinic for more than five years. Boero looks at genomes of family members to find the change in the DNA that causes motor neurons to die.
“The Braun family has a slowly progressive form of ALS, but by conducting large-scale sequencing of the DNA and finding the mechanism that causes motor neurons to die, we can find the specific cause of ALS in them as well as understand how to slow ALS in other families,” Boero said.