Stogner Strong | Triangle Walk to Defeat ALS in Raleigh hopes to raise $400K

Sunday, April 16, 2023
Triangle Walk to Defeat ALS in Raleigh hopes to raise $400K
People of all ages and abilities gathered for the annual Walk to defeat ALS in Raleigh (2023)

Many filled the streets of downtown Raleigh Saturday for the Triangle Walk to Defeat ALS.

People of all ages and abilities, with friends, children and pets united in their determination to conquer a debilitating disease that has no cure.

"For my mom, Frankie Ann. She passed from ALS two years ago," walker Lynette Palmer said.

The walk is near and dear to the ABC11 family as we walk for Team Stogner Strong, honoring the memory of former ABC11 anchor Larry Stogner who passed in 2016 after a battle with the disease.

Stogner Strong and other teams took part in the walk including Leeza's Voyagers with Leeza Hollingsworth as team captain. Hollingsworth was diagnosed with ALS in 2022 and led the countdown to the start of the walk. The goal was to raise $400,000 for treatment and ultimately a cure for ALS.

"For a first-year team, our initial goal of raising money was $2,000, and we are over $11,000 now. it's amazing," Hollingsworth explained.

"It is so important because we don't get very much federal funding. We rely a lot on private donations because of all of the care, research, and medications that we hope to get. We're so dependent on folks helping us out with all of that," she added.

ALS is a disease that affects the nerve cells that make muscles work in both the upper and lower parts of the body.

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The cause isn't known and the CDC estimates on average five thousand new patients are diagnosed yearly in the United States.

I know my mom would be very proud of us, because we continue to keep her in our hearts and we do this." said Palmer. "This is our second year. We started the first year when my mom passed, and we'll continue to do it. On behalf of my mother and the others who lost their family members, friends and community members to ALS.

Among all the people walking during the event, some people participating included those in the midst of their own battle with the disease.

"I'm glad to say I'm starting to notice the little glimpses of grace on this journey too. Because there are signs of life, there are reasons for hope, there are moments of joy," ALS patient Troy Tatum said. "I want to make sure I'm not being too Pollyanna here. I'm just looking for the silver lining in the dark cloud, because oh how I wish this disease was not part of my life. Oh how I wish this disease was not part of your life, either."