Six months ago, Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger was running in the federal election, continuing his dedication of over 20 years to serving his constituents in the riding of Ottawa-Vanier. His life changed November 2015, when he was diagnosed with the terminal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's. Although ALS has taken away his ability to speak, it has not taken away his voice or commitment to help others. Bélanger is refocusing his energy, partnering with the ALS Societies across Canada and taking on the role as the National Honorary Spokesperson for the WALK for ALS.
With a goal of $4 million, the WALK for ALS will be held in 93 communities across Canada. 60% of the proceeds will be used to assist people living with ALS and their families, and 40% of the proceeds fund the ALS Canada Research Program.
"The ALS Societies fulfill a critical role when a person is faced with the realities of a diagnosis of ALS, which impacts the entire family," explains Catherine Bélanger, wife of Mr. Bélanger, "It means a lot to our family to be able to help the ALS Community through our support for the WALK for ALS."
To join Mr. Bélanger, and the 3000 other Canadians like him, in his fight against ALS, register for one of the 93 WALK for ALS events taking place across the country at www.walkforals.ca.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease where the motor neurons that control your muscles die. The 'living wires' which connect your brain to your muscles degenerate, leading to a loss of mobility and speech and eventually impact the ability to breathe. ALS is terminal, there is no cure or an effective treatment. In Canada, approx. 2500-3000 people are living with ALS; 1000 will succumb to the disease and 1000 will be newly diagnosed each year. The lifespan after diagnosis is on average two to five years.
About Mauril Bélanger
Mauril Bélanger was born and raised in the town of Mattawa, in mid-north Ontario. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa. First elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier in a by-election in February 1995, Mauril has been re-elected at every election since. He and his wife Catherine live in Ottawa.