It’s devastating and always fatal.

Those two facts are why hundreds of families will be walking in San Pedro Springs Park this Saturday to raise money to finally find a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The walk begins at 11 a.m. on Oct. 26 and will wind through the park for three miles.

The San Antonio/South Texas area of the ALS Association Texas Chapter has 160 families directly affected.

Statewide, there are 550.

One of those families is that of KSAT producer Sean Talbot, whose father, Rudy, was diagnosed one year ago with the disease.

Initially, the family and Talbot's business associates noticed his voice had begun to slur.

Today, he has difficulty talking at all.

"No, can't drive, can't write, can't talk. It is tough," said the 64-year-old with great difficulty.

His wife, Julie, says she understands him best, but when she is not around, he depends on computer-assisted speech to make his needs clear to others.

"It’s frustrating. It’s so frustrating for him. This disease robs you from your life. It's taken everything away from him," said Julie Talbot.

She says their family has been gravely affected by the diagnosis, but consider themselves lucky that Rudy is a Navy veteran and receives full VA benefits.

Many families are financially ruined when the breadwinner loses his or her ability to earn a living as medical expenses mount.

Currently, the Talbot home is being renovated to accommodate the day when Rudy will no longer be able to walk with a cane and must be moved via wheelchair.

For now, family members have re-worked their lives to get him to doctors and therapy.

Sasha Talbot, Rudy’s 25-year-old daughter, returned home to help care for her father.

“It's completely changed my life because I have to plan everything around him, I've kind of become the chauffeur of the family," she said.

Her brother says they all have come together this year -- even attending physical therapy sessions as a family -- in the hope that they can learn and assist Rudy’s comfort level as the disease progresses.

He knows the average ALS patient will die of the disease in three to five years.

Sean Talbot said, "If there is anything that I wish would be different, we'd find a cure, and back on the road to recovery, everything would be back to normal and things would be status quo."  

That is the hope of all ALS families who are walking in this weekend’s fundraiser.

To find out more about the Walk to Defeat ALS, visit or

For a list of recent stories Ursula Pari has done, click here.