Barrie WALK for ALS


Throughout his career, Vincent Quinn has worked with people living with disabilities, tended to social justice issues for homeless youth and adults, and facilitated support groups for people who have lost someone to suicide. Today, he volunteers his time to the Barrie WALK for ALS and the Board of Directors of ALS Canada, where he has also served on the Client Services Advisory Council. In 2014, Vincent was diagnosed with ALS, pointing his altruistic compass in one clear direction.

Since his ALS diagnosis, Vincent has set out to be the “voice of the patient,” as he puts it. As a member on the advisory council and Board of Directors currently living with ALS, Vincent brings a unique perspective to the organization, and is committed to making an impact for people living with the disease today and in the future.

“Through my experience with ALS, I’m hoping people will understand the need to take action. We’re at a point where research breakthroughs are on the horizon, something that gives people like me a lot of hope. But equipment and community-based support is just as important as research. A treatment is aspirational, but support for today is a reality. ”

Vincent and his family at the WALK for ALSVincent has been living with ALS for four years now, and Saturday June 9 will mark his fourth time attending the Barrie WALK for ALS as both a participant and a member of the volunteer committee. And although he admits to experiencing a level of shock year after year as people progress at different rates, he firmly believes that the connections he has formed at the WALK for ALS have kept his spirits up and positively affected his experience with the disease.

“I decided fairly early on post-diagnosis that if I was going to have ALS, I was going to do whatever I could to ‘give it hell.’ Raising funds and awareness for the WALK for ALS is part of that.”

As June 9 approaches, Vincent is gearing up to attend the WALK with his wife, Dana, his daughters, Aylsa and Elora, and his mother, Betty. In addition to participating in the 5 km WALK with the support of his ALS Canada scooter, Vincent and his team help other participants get around the route.

“My various roles within the organization have been a way for me to fight back against this disease. Going into it, you would think that these experiences would be somber ones, but I have spent more time laughing than mourning my losses,” he says. “It’s great to be involved with a group of people making an impact.”

Through the experiences and wisdom he has gained in the past four years, Vincent’s message to all people and families living with ALS is to live in the moment. “When you’re given this diagnosis, you expect things to fall apart very quickly. But that doesn’t have to be the case. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so live for today and do everything you can with the time you have left. That is my message.”

The WALK for ALS takes place in over 90 communities across Canada until September 2018. Register or donate to a WALK near you at www.walkforals.ca. Donations for all WALK for ALS events are being accepted until December 31, 2018.

Posted in: WALK for ALS