DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) – This year’s Walk to Defeat ALS received support from a champion with a winning record Sunday.
Former Buckeye cornerback and NFL player William White took part in the annual event raising money for the ALS Association of Central and Southern Ohio.
In the several years since he was diagnosed with the deadly disease, White has begun to lose control of the muscles in his arms. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, it affects the nervous system and gradually prohibits patients from speaking, moving, swallowing and breathing.
There’s currently no cure or effective treatment to halt ALS.
White, however, explained he doesn’t let the diagnosis define his life.
“[The doctor] was crying when he told me about it because he said 100 percent of people with ALS are going to die. And my response back to him was, ‘Well 100 percent of people who are born are going to die,’” White said.
White’s team, made up of supporters from the Ohio State College of Engineering, brought back the viral social media “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise money.
Challengers donated $50 to the ALS Association and had a bucket of ice water dumped over them.
The team’s efforts were part of the mass fundraising from Sunday’s walk at Coffman Park in Dublin.
Annually, the event raises almost 75 percent of the organization’s total funds to support services, advocacy and care for families in central and southern Ohio.
“It’s just so debilitating and to be able to put money towards this and find a cure for this disease is just absolutely the most important thing,” said Allyx Roy, who was walking for her Aunt Pam.
Others joined the walk after losing a loved one.
Michael Fleming and his family formed a team when his mother passed away from ALS in November 2018.
“The biggest thing right now is trying to get through it, supporting each other and keeping her memory alive,” he said.
By the time the walk started, it had surpassed this year’s goal, with more than 1,800 participants raising almost $300,000.
You can donate year-round and find more information about the services and support offered by the ALS Association by clicking here.