Written by Betsy Abraham Friday, 20 September 2013 00:00
When John Power’s wife was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in April 2008, a friend reached out to him with the name of a support group. The ALS support group at Plainview Hospital helped Power better understand the disease, as others shared their experiences and provided coping advice. Through the support group, the Westbury residents were also introduced to the loan closet, which provided them with helpful medical equipment such as patient lifts, shower chairs, and a ramp.
When his wife, Joan, passed away in August after a six year battle with the disease, John chose to still remain active in the ALS Association and became even more dedicated to helping find a cure. On Sunday, September 22, he will partake in his fourth “Walk to Defeat ALS” at Eisenhower Park. Along with about 30 of his family and friends, as well as people from all over Long Island, John will help raise awareness and money to fund both research and the association that helped him enormously over the past six years.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. People with ALS lose their ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years.
The ALS walk is great for people of all ages. There will be food and entertainment. Most importantly, it will help support those affected by ALS and spread awareness, as well as raise funds to find a treatment and cure. You can join John’s team, or make a donation at www.alswalks.org (go to L.I. Walk and Team Power). Can’t make the walk? John will also be hosting a Zumba event to benefit ALS on October 5, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the “Yes We Can” Community Center. Admission will be $10 and proceeds will go to the ALS Association.