Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neuromuscular, progressive neurodegenerative disease. Its cause is still a mystery and a cure is still the elusive butterfly. It was first described in 1869 by Parisian neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot.

Kevin Packman of Miami, Florida, wanted to do something for his father, who was diagnosed with ALS. When he attended the University of Texas and with help from then-Governor Ann Richards, he worked to get April 1991 declared Lou Gehrig Disease Awareness Month. Still, that was not good enough for Kevin, so he went to Washington, D.C., where he helped draft legislation declaring May as National ALS Awareness Month.

Packman’s father died in 2001.

Kodiak’s ALS Walk4Life starts at St. Mary’s gym at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 9, with registration at 8 a.m.

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