About ALS

About the Walk to End ALS

The ALS Canada Walk to End ALS is the largest community fundraiser for ALS research, advocacy, and community-based services. It is a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate hope for a world free of ALS, honour the people we have loved and lost, and show support for Canadians and their families living with the disease.

Funds raised through the event are essential in helping to ensure a strong pipeline of funding for the best of Canadian ALS research (40% of proceeds). In participating provinces*, 60% of the proceeds are used for advocacy and to provide community-based support to people and families living with ALS.

*Participating provinces are: Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. If you are participating in the ALS Canada Virtual Walk to End ALS from another province, 100% of proceeds will go to fund the national ALS Canada Research Program.

We are pleased to have the support of Canadians from across the country and the collective efforts of the ALS Society of Manitoba, ALS Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, ALS Society of Prince Edward Island, and ALS Society of Quebec alongside the ALS Society of Canada in this important initiative.

Together, we can achieve more

Collectively through initiatives like the Walk to End ALS, participating ALS Societies in Canada help support the national ALS Canada Research Program, which funds peer-reviewed research grants and fosters collaboration among Canadian researchers, helping to nurture new ideas and build capacity. The ALS Canada Research Program is the only national dedicated source of funding for ALS research across Canada. Provincial and federal advocacy efforts give voice to the collective experience of people living with ALS to help drive program and system changes for access to therapies. In the participating provinces, the funds are used to ensure people affected by ALS have access to community resources and information to navigate their journey with ALS.

About the Brain Canada match

  • In 2024, funds raised through the Walk are being earmarked for a match from Brain Canada.
  • Matched funds will be invested in ALS research in 2024.
  • Charitable tax receipts will be issued for all donations received in 2024 and, in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines, will be for the donation amount only. Donations will not be designated for a specific research project, professional, institution, or area of study.
  • The Canada Brain Research Fund is an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada, designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support of brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments.

About ALS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that progressively paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will.
  • Over time, as the brain’s connection with the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.
  • ALS affects individuals and families in the prime of their lives.
  • Nearly 4,000 Canadians are currently living with ALS.
  • Each year approximately 1,000 Canadians will learn that they have ALS, and another 1,000 Canadians will die from the disease.
  • There is no cure for ALS and few treatment options for most people living with the disease.
  • Four out of five people diagnosed with ALS will die within five years.
  • Anyone can develop ALS regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, geography, or race – although it most often affects people between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Nine out of 10 people diagnosed do not have a family history of the disease.
  • ALS has an estimated cost to families of $150,000 to $250,000. This includes the loss of salary that often comes about when a family member leaves their job to care for their loved one full-time.