THUNDER BAY -- Murray Brown is hopeful the marvels of science will one day yield a cure for ALS.
The 52-year-old Thunder Bay Police Service staff sergeant was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in December 2012 and is determined to keep up the fight.
Fundraising efforts towards those scientific advancements are vital.
“Raising money for research is paramount in my belief,” Brown said. “We’re hoping with the money we raise there can be a cure at some point for ALS.”
In addition to the debilitating nature of the disorder, ALS is expensive financially. The required medication and supports are heavy prices for those afflicted and their loved ones.
Brown moved to the Chartwell Select Retirement Residence in April and management at the Arundel Street complex were inspired as soon as they met him.
That led to them hosting a benefit barbecue and concert Saturday, which was held under blue skies and delightfully warm temperatures.
“He’s just been such an amazing addition to this home and we really wanted to do something to give back to him,” said Curtis Walter, the general manager at the home.
Organizers of the benefit started off with a goal of selling 50 tickets for the afternoon, thinking that would be a successful initiative.
They realized they underestimated the support network Brown has built when he asked for 50 more tickets.
The outpouring of support speaks volumes to Brown’s character, Walter said.
Rather than shying away, Brown welcomes questions from members of the public about the disease and how he is doing.
It’s answering those questions that will raise the profile of the disorder, he says.
“I’m happy to talk about it and bring more awareness. People don’t really understand ALS and the impact it has,” Brown said.
He is a member of a local support group that meets regularly to help both patients and their families through the difficult times.
Sharing information is helpful and lending support is essential to keeping up the fight.
Brown is determined to not let the disease completely take over his life, as he is still out in the community attending events like last weekend’s Blues Festival and various sporting events.
“I keep busy,” he said. “It’s starting to affect my legs and I’m not walking as far as I used to. It’s progressing slowly but I’m positive and keep a positive smile on my face.”
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.