San Antonio steps out for the Walk to Defeat ALS

Hundreds turn out to San Pedro Springs Park

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of walkers made their way to San Pedro Springs Park Saturday morning for the Walk to Defeat ALS.

The trek around the park is the local ALS Association's biggest fundraiser every year.

There were more than 100 teams at this year's walk, including Judy's Joggers.

When Judy Weaver was diagnosed with ALS two years ago, her fellow choir members at University United Methodist Church said they had to do something.

"We created a team to try and support her to find a cure for ALS," said Mary McKay, with Judy's Joggers.

Now Judy's Joggers is a team of 40 walkers, all participating in hopes of finding a cure for ALS, a debilitating disease that can rob patients of their mobility, speech and even the ability to breathe.

"We believe we have a great representation of what attitude and what fearlessness is all about when you are fighting a debilitating disease like ALS," said Eric Guerra, with Team Madeline Guerra Rocks. "And we've got a great patriarch."

The Walk to Defeat ALS brings in funds for the local chapter to sustain care services and to support research, but it also brings the community together.

"It means a lot," said Gabriela Puga Sedillo, with Team Jose Romero Puga. "Our father needs a cure right now and also I think it will help a lot of families to see what everybody is going through. We can stick together shoulder to shoulder, we know how you feel." 

"It means support for family and community," said McKay. "But also support to find a cure, which is the main goal. But it also provides things for the people who have ALS really need, like walkers, wheelchairs and therapy. So it goes much further than just the cure. It helps the people that are actually fighting the battle."

The Walk to Defeat ALS had been the organization's biggest fundraiser, until this summer's Ice Bucket Challenge.

With the help of that challenge, from Aug.1-21, ALS Texas raised more than $280,000. That is up from $55,000 at the same time last year.