ALS Golden West held the 11th Annual Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS® on Saturday, September 30, at Kapiolani Park in Honolulu. This annual event brought incredible energy and an outpouring of support for those affected by ALS in Hawaii.
This special community event was open to the public, and all proceeds went directly into providing critical funding for ALS Golden West’s urgent mission priorities related to ALS care services, public policy initiatives, and cutting-edge global research. Funds raised in Hawaii are used to support our Hawaii programs and services.
“Since our last in-person walk, I can’t walk unaided and am confined to my wheelchair,” shared Jeff Conway, former naval officer who has been living with ALS since 2014. “I have great difficulty using my hands. With your help, we will be able to make a difference in the lives of people affected by this disease. It’s important to spread awareness about ALS to the general public, so they understand what the disease is about and how it affects people. We are a nation that, if we put our mind and resources to it, we can conquer anything.”
The event included performances by Ku’u Wa Hula and live music from local singer/songwriter Mike Izon. The walk was preceded by a pre-walk Zumba led by Debbie Azama-Park. Jeff was presented with the 2023 ALS Hero Award and Sandy with the Ohana Award. For those who were unable to attend in person, we hosted a Hawaii Walk Livestream where participants can watch the event live, interact virtually, and connect with others from anywhere around the world.
Since its inception in 2013, the Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS has been a yearly opportunity for the ALS community to gather in a show of support and unity, and fuel the search for effective prevention strategies, treatments, and cures for ALS.
“I have no idea what I would have done if I was just by myself and we didn’t have the ALS Golden West behind us, so I want to thank everyone at ALS Golden West…I know that I can call them anytime for help, and they will be there for me and for all of us,” says Sandy Repczynski, wife of John Repczynski, living with ALS.
“Since I’ve become a non-voluntary member of the ALS community, I have met the most amazing people. Men and women who are living with ALS and doing it with courage and grace and also the full-time caregivers and the families who offer their support and their love and their kindness and all the friends who are also here to support us. I want to say that I am honored and privileged to know them all, and I love you all.”
“Because of the funds and awareness we raise through the Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS, we are able to ensure the ALS community is well-supported by our wraparound model of care, which extends length and quality of life, while we search for effective prevention strategies, treatments, and cures,” said Asher Garfinkel, Vice President of Community Outreach. “Throughout the year, we partner with families, researchers, clinicians, the government, corporations, other organizations, and the media to raise ALS awareness and support in Hawaii. The Walk to Defeat ALS anchors and helps to power these collaborative efforts.”
Mahalo to our ALS community and ohana in Hawaii for your dedication to Golden West’s mission and for joining us for the 2023 Hawaii Walk to Defeat ALS. We invite you to see photos from the event here. Also, if you have any photos from the event that you would like to share, please send them to email@example.com.
It is only together that we will defeat ALS.