About

About the Walk to End ALS

The largest volunteer-led fundraiser for ALS Societies across Canada, the Walk to End ALS is a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate hope for a future without ALS, honour those we have loved and lost, and show support for the 3,000 Canadians and their families living with the disease. Your fundraising efforts and generous donations support the best ALS research in the country (40% of proceeds) and enable ALS Societies to provide community-based support (60% of proceeds) to people and families living with the disease.

In 2020, Walks across the country will be taking place virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we can’t walk together, we’re all in this together. Because ALS doesn’t stop, and neither will we.

Together, we can achieve more

ALS Societies across Canada work together to maximize our collective impact and make the greatest difference for people and families living with ALS. Our approach as eight independent organizations working in partnership enables us to respond to the variation that exists between provincial healthcare systems where we each play a role in filling gaps by providing community-based support. Collectively through initiatives like the Walk to End ALS, ALS Societies across Canada fund the ALS Canada Research Program, which funds peer-reviewed research grants and fosters collaboration among Canadian researchers, helping to nurture new ideas and build capacity. Through provincial and federal advocacy, ALS Societies give voice to the collective experience of people living with ALS to help drive program and system changes for the ALS community.

About the Brain Canada match

  • In 2020, 40% of funds raised through the Walk are being earmarked for a match from Brain Canada, to a maximum of $1 million. Please note that the other 60% raised will fund community-based support and is not eligible for the match.
  • Matched funds will be invested in ALS research in 2020 and/or 2021 depending on the amount raised, and on COVID-19-related issues affecting the research community.
  • Charitable tax receipts will be issued for all donations received in 2020 and in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines will be for the donation amount only. Donations will not be designated for a specific research project, professional, institution, or area of study.
  • The Canada Brain Research Fund is an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada, designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments.

About ALS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.
  • ALS can affect anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity or age. It most often affects people aged 40-60.
  • Only about 5 to 10 per cent of ALS cases are inherited from a family member.
  • An estimated 3,000 Canadians are currently living with ALS.
  • Each year approximately 1,000 Canadians die from ALS. A similar number of Canadians are diagnosed with ALS each year.
  • 80 per cent of people with ALS die within two to five years of being diagnosed.
  • There are few effective treatments for ALS and no cure.
  • ALS has an estimated cost to families of $150,000 to $250,000. This includes the loss of salary that often comes about when a family member leaves their job to care for their loved one full-time.