MARKHAM, ON, April 26, 2012 – Rawdon Gold Mines, NS resident Emily Meehan will receive the ALS Society of Canada’s Leader of Tomorrow Award (age14-17 category) in recognition of her outstanding efforts to raise awareness and funds for ALS, during an awards ceremony to be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Toronto, on April 28.
This young woman uses her passion and success as a race-car driver to raise awareness and advocate for people living with ALS. She was motivated at the age of nine when Michael Watson, the father of her friends Michelle and Kim, was diagnosed with ALS seven years ago. Meehan’s race car is painted in ALS colours with the ALS logo on the front. On the back, it says “Mike My Hero” to honour her friends’ father.
Meehan brings her car to all Nova Scotia ALS events including the Walk at the local high school, the Halifax WALK for ALS, and numerous media interviews. People are attracted to the car and what it stands for. Meehan also uses race-car driving as an opportunity to talk about the disease.
“Emily has stood by her friends, Kim and Michelle Watson as they adapted to life with a Dad with ALS,” said Kimberly Carter, president and CEO, ALS Society of Nova Scotia. “She has really demonstrated great maturity in genuinely wanting to understand the disease and help these two extraordinary young women (Kim and Michelle) promote awareness.”
The Leader of Tomorrow Award recognizes youth and young adults who individually or as part of a group are making a difference in the lives of those living with ALS through their volunteer efforts.
ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease that causes the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As the nerve cells die, people with ALS lose control of their muscles, which makes breathing, eating and even smiling almost impossible. Eighty per cent of those diagnosed will die within two to five years.
The ALS Society of Canada, founded in 1977, is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS and support for those living with ALS. The Society funds research towards a cure for ALS, supports provincial partners in the provision of quality care for those living with ALS, and provides information to build awareness about the disease.
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For more information, please contact:
President & CEO
ALS Society of Nova Scotia
Director of Communications
ALS Society of Canada
1-800-267-4257 ext. 208