Supporters walk to defeat ALS in Anchorage

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It's a deadly disease with a life expectancy of only 2 to 5 years after diagnosis. On Saturday, supporters gathered to walk for those with ALS.

"You've got a choice to make, you are either going to live with it, or you are not -- and I'm going to live," Said Geoff Knock who was diagnosed with ALS three years ago.

The ALS Association held a walk to defeat the disease at Westchester Lagoon. This local organization raises money to help support those with ALS with things like medical expenses, equipment, support and research. After the famous ice bucket challenge several years ago, ALS associations nationwide were able to provide much needed help for those with the disease.

"The ice bucket challenge money was hugely significant in raising awareness," said Amara Bates, Director of the ALS Association. "Forbes actually came out with an article recently that since the ice bucket challenge, donations towards ALS research and local support has maintained 180 percent increase since 2014, but because we were able to raise so much money for research they have identified 5 new genes."

Bates says on average, the medical cost for someone with ALS $200,000 to $300,000 a year. The association also provides advocacy for sufferers to help with insurance and medicare.

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