After having gone virtual for two long years, one of Calgary’s most iconic social, and charitable events of the year is finally happening in person. We’re talking about Betty’s Run for ALS, the ALS Society of Alberta’s annual fundraiser walk-run that hopes to inspire care, hope and community. The event is scheduled for Sunday, June 12th at  North Glenmore Park.

The OG run happened 26 years ago and was started by Betty Norman. Diagnosed withALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) herself in 1996, Betty dedicated whatever life she had left to raising awareness and funds for research and aid of others like her. And the society has successfully brought her dream to life over the following years. 


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For those who are still in doubt about what exactly ALS is, well, firstly, you aren’t alone. Apart from the fact that it is a neurological disorder, we knew nothing until recently. And secondly, that’s precisely the reason this fundraiser exists— to raise awareness about ALS and of course, funds. These funds are used to aid the society’s efforts to support Albertans who are living with and impacted by ALS and towards ALS-based research.

Now would be a good time for a quick bio lesson. So, ALS as is common knowledge, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. In simple words, the disorder affects the nerve cells causing them to deteriorate and stop sending signals to brain cells. Eventually, this could result in inability to move, swallow or even breathe.

What is not common knowledge is how it emotionally impacts the patients and their families. In addition to physical and monetary help, patients also need a lot of emotional support and assistance guiding them through their journey. And this support is what they get from the society. Additionally, they are connected to the network that can get them the right help and education, and the Equipment Loan Program. The Equipment program provides all equipment, which can easily exceed $100,000, at no charge to the families.


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Given the series of adjustments new patients have to go through and difficulties they face, it makes sense that a relatively new member of the society be announced ambassador. And that’s how film and TV director-producer Neill Fearnley became this year’s Betty’s Run for ALS Ambassador. And the man swears by the support he received from the society since he was first diagnosed with ALS.

Considering this a true privilege, Fearnley added, “While I have not been a client of the ALS Society for very long, one thing which really strikes a chord with me is, that sense of community and togetherness those of us living with ALS in Alberta feel.”

As proud and compassionate Albertans, of course we want to contribute to the cause. And you can do it by registering for the walk or the run and pledging donations on their website. Walkers, runner and supporter, we’ll see you at North Glenmore Park on June 12!


When: Sunday, June 12th
Where: North Glenmore Park