Doug Hopkins liked to hike and run.
An active man, he was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a degenerative neuromuscular disorder that affects the ability muscles to move.
It started in his legs, moved to his arms and chest and he died 11 months after being diagnosed on June 3, 2007, well short of the average three-year expected life span.
“It spiralled in a central sort of way and to see him become limited to his chair was very difficult,” said his son Mark, who took part in his first Betty’s Run for ALS just five days after his father’s passing and is well on his way to achieving his $10,000 goal for this year’s event.
While 95 per cent of ALS causes are unknown, Hopkins and his family are affected through genetic pre-disposition.
Marks has already lost two uncles and his father to the disease.
Rather than sit idly by and hope he’s on the lucky side of his 50 per cent chance of contracting ALS, Mark, who has raised $9,000 towards his five-mile jaunt Sunday in the 12th annual Betty’s Run For ALS, is throwing a combined 25th birthday bender/fundraiser, hoping to exceed his goal through gifts and donations.
The race begins at 9 a.m. at North Glenmore Park.
Hopkin’s party is tonight at the Big Secret Theatre in the Epcor Centre and starts at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 at the door.