I feel privileged to be stepping into the position of Interim Chief Executive Officer for ALS Canada. I am very proud to be joining an organization that supports clients and families living with ALS and funds research towards discovery of a treatment and eventually a cure.
My journey with ALS began when I was standing in an airport in 2008. I received a call from my cousin, Doug Oakley, telling me of his diagnosis. At that moment I had no understanding of the devastation of his announcement, but over the next five years, I learned of the challenges the person, caregiver, family and supporters face with this disease.
In 2010, Doug started a motorcycle ride across Canada to raise money and awareness. My communications agency worked with the ALS societies in each province and ALS Canada to organize and coordinate the events and communications to support the ride. This unique perspective was an incredible introduction to the support system across the country for the ALS community.
In April 2013, I joined ALS Canada as a board member, drawing from my personal and professional experience to contribute at a strategic level. As the organization goes through this transition in leadership, I have stepped off the board to fill the role of Interim CEO, to work directly with our team to make a difference.
Moving forward, the organization is entering into one of its busiest times. On May 25th teams will be challenging each other to pull a 37,000lb plane in the 4th annual Bombardier Plane Pull fundraising event with a goal of raising $105,000. Throughout May, June and September there will be 90 WALKS across Canada, with 30 in Ontario. It is through the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers and a multitude of communities across Canada, where awareness about ALS and more importantly, the stories from clients and families who have ALS, will garner national attention. Thousands of Canadians will rally, advocate, champion and work together to raise $4 million dollars to help support the ALS community and fund world-renowned research.
I look forward to making a difference in the lives of people living with ALS today and into the future.