2nd Annual ALS Walk at St. Charles Borromeo School

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2014

 

Submitted Always a smile: Chuck Breath always has a smile in spite of the fact that he is battling ALS.

Submitted
Always a smile: Chuck Breath always has a smile in spite of the fact that he is battling ALS.

 

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School will hold an ALS walk at St. Charles Borromeo on Friday, March 14, at 1:15 p.m. in the schoolyard.

This will be the second walk hosted by the school. Last year’s walk raised more than $10,000 for ALS research in honor of the father of two students.

Principal Angela Ingram said the community is encouraged to come and walk with the students as they show support for loved ones and family members who have been diagnosed with the disease.

“We noticed last year, that as a group, we have almost all been touched by knowing someone with this devastating disease. The walk is something that we can do to make a contribution towards finding a cure,” she said.

A case in point would be St. Charles’ science and social studies teacher Leigh Chapman.

A family friend of Chapman’s, Chuck Breath, has been battling the disease. She will walk in his honor that Friday.

“I grew up with Mr. Chuck’s daughter and our families have been close my whole life,” she said.

Breath, who lives in Bay St. Louis, has been battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for almost a year. Despite the difficulties he maintains a positive attitude that he credits to his pALS (persons with ALS) and the resources and support groups provided by The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter.

The neurodegenerative disease progressively affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

The ALS Association describes the disease as one that “… robs people of the ability to walk, to talk and even blink an eye. It traps them inside a body they no longer can control and ultimately prevents them from breathing as it takes their life. People with ALS lose the power to use their legs, hold someone close, and simply say, ‘I love you,’ before their bodies gradually shut down. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival. Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS, and every 90 minutes someone loses their battle to this fatal disease. Living with ALS can cost up to $250,000 annually, depleting families.”

Breath served as a non-commissioned officer in the Navy from 1967-1969. He and his family give homage to his military connection through his “Chuck’s Crew” team at The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter’s Walk to Defeat ALS, which is the largest fundraiser for The ALS Association.

The annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Walk to Defeat ALS is scheduled for March 15, 2014 at Jones Park in Gulfport. The event will feature free food; music; children’s activities; and more.

Registration for the Walk begins at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremony starting at 10 a.m. To learn more about the Walk to Defeat ALS, call the chapter toll free at (800) 891-3746 or visit our walktodefeatals.org.