In April 2009, our Co-founder, Rosalba Snyder was given the terrible news that her father, Jorge, had been diagnosed with ALS, also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease". She and her family were told to go home and enjoy life. Rosa was left to deal with the diagnosis with little information and almost no resources. She spent hours, days and weeks researching the impossible. Jorge wanted to meet others with ALS and see how they were coping with it. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to meet anyone since there were no resources to make connections in North Eastern Pennsylvania. He passed away in January 2010, only 9 months after his diagnosis. Rosalba started the first and only ALS Walk here in Bloomsburg, in her dad's memory in 2011.
That same year, Mandy Podehl heard of the new ALS walk being organized in Bloomsburg, PA. She had lost her brother, Dustin, to ALS May of 2010. Dustin was only 26 at the time of his passing and his battle with ALS was only a few short months from the time of his diagnosis. He was a recent graduate from Bloomsburg University and the area held a special place in his heart. Mandy reached out to Rosa with a message saying "I will be nine months pregnant at the time of the walk and I don't know what I can do to help, but I need to be a part of this".
From that moment on, a lifelong friendship was born! Rosa and Mandy continued to organize the yearly walk together with the support of their families and the dedicated volunteers.
Every year, hundreds of people across NEPA bring their, energy and passion to our Walk. We call it a "Family Fiesta".
Our Walk is truly an inspiration because it brings us hope for a cure. We come together to share our stories, tears and laughter. Time and time again, we hear that it feels like a family Reunion. These wonderful comments are what keep us going. The Bloomsburg, ALS Walk is our biggest annual event which raises funds to support research and patient services.
We are proud to say that ALL of the staff members are volunteers and 70% of all donations received support cutting-edge research and directly aid people living with ALS. We ask that you support our Community in Bloomsburg and its surrounding areas by making a donation, walking, spreading awareness and/or volunteering. We would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support.