My dad, George Vasiloff, was diagnosed with ALS in September 2013. Like all families, we were devastated to learn of this terrible news. My dad handled it with grace and strength, which would come as no surprise if you knew him. He has always been a calming presence and voice of optimism for myself and my family and now, in his darkest hour, he was nothing less than his beautiful self, worrying more about us than his own fate.
Before the shock could even wear off, Dad sprang into action – immediately researching any clinical trials and studies in which to enroll. His thinking being that even if the experimental drugs and treatment do not help him, others can benefit from the research so that, perhaps, their lives may be extended or even saved.
Like father like daughter, because I, too, cannot sit around and wait for this horrifying disease to take my dad – I have to do something! So, I have committed to do two crazy things: 1) run a half marathon in Washington D.C. on March 15, 2014; and 2) raise $10,000 for ALS research before I cross the finish line. I have assembled a team of over a dozen amazing friends (some of whom, like me, are first time runners!) who will run alongside me in our red “Run your ALS off!!” shirts toward my dad, who will greet us at the finish line. We run to honor my dad, we run to raise awareness for this disease about which we know far too little, and we run in memory of those who have already passed.
ALS is a horrible disease with no known cause, no treatment, and no cure. Often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Essentially, the brain stops talking to the body, part by part, until persons afflicted can no longer walk, talk, eat, or breathe on their own – they are totally paralyzed. Three quarters of people suffering with ALS die within five years. Without more research, there is no hope of finding a treatment or a cure for this horrifying disease.
Unfortunately, by the year 2020, 1 in 25 people Americans will have been diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease — ALS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Any research done on one of the neurodegenerative diseases benefits the others and, since all are untreatable and incurable, a donation to Project A.L.S. goes a long way to answering hundreds of research questions.
I am excited to support my dad and Project ALS in this challenge and hope you’ll do the same for me by making a tax-deductible donation today. Each dollar will bring us one step closer to the finish line and a cure!
Please click here to donate: https://www.justgive.org/KateVasiloff