Strength and sadness in numbers

Warrensburg man joins the ranks and local walk to defeat ALS

Locals in support of ALS gathered for a ribbon cutting Saturday at the RHS track. From left are: ALS patient Tony Vick and his wife, Karen Vick; ALS patient Larry Moss, sitting, and his wife, Carol Moss; ALS patient Mark Johnson; and Althea Templeton, whose son, Jeff Templeton, died of ALS. (Photo by Leah Wankum, Editor)

By Leah Wankum, Editor

The local ALS community grew a little bigger this year, a bittersweet fact for the crowd gathered at the track Saturday morning.

It’s bitter because one more local, 33-year-old Tony Vick of Warrensburg, has joined the ranks. Vick was diagnosed a few weeks ago with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

It’s sweet because the community is raising more awareness, which translates into more funding for researchers to study and understand more about this debilitating disease. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a rare disease that weakens a patient’s muscles and nervous system and causes disability. About 6,000 people in the United States are diagnosed every year, according to the ALS Association.

“We don’t like to see the group grow, but we like to see the support grow,” said Scott Johnson, whose brother, Mark Johnson, has lived with ALS for the past 17 years.

Walk to Defeat ALS 2017 had its usual crowd and familiar faces when supporters gathered at the Richmond High School track. Mark Johnson’s team of supporters – Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch – also participated in the walk. The Templeton Trail Riders participated for Jeff Templeton, another victim of ALS. Norm Osterberg represented Carol’s Team for Carol Osterberg, another local who died of ALS several years ago.

And now a new team, Isaiah’s 40, has joined in support of Vick. The team of about 30 gathered and mingled among other supporters at the walk.

At age 33, Vick lives with a progressive form of ALS. He can no longer run and already had two surgeries to treat his symptoms before being diagnosed Sept. 20 at University of Kansas Medical Center.

The complete story is in the Tuesday, October 10, 2017 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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