Hundreds gathered to walk toward a cure for ALS

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - One step at a time, they walked toward hope. More than 300 people gathered at Jones Park in Gulfport Saturday morning to participate in a walk to defeat ALS.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is difficult to diagnose, hard to treat and right now, there's not a cure for it.

"Fight ALS!" Yelled the pacing crowd.

"Generally most people come out and walk in honor of someone, or in memory of someone, that's living or has passed away with ALS," said event coordinator of ALS Association of Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter Adam Wyatt.

Most came in teams, honoring a specific person battling ALS, with the majority wearing blue shirts that read, "Chuck's Crew."

"He's such a humble man and we love him very much," said Chuck Breath's daughter-in-law Katie Breath.

Breath was diagnosed with ALS seven months ago.

"It's not good. It's deterioration of the muscles. All your nerves. It's very embarrassing, to fall and can't control it," said Chuck Breath.

Breath said everyday gets a little harder and, while this isn't how he envisioned his life, it won't keep him from smiling.

"I just made 67. I'm older than dirt," said Breath with a chuckle.

Instead, Breath provides comfort and hope for others.

Eight years ago Billy Dyle was diagnosed with ALS and told he had six months to live.

"It changed our life completely," said Billy's wife Cindy Dyle.

Cindy said Billy's a fighter and she cherishes every moment she has with her husband.

"He's my life," said Cindy, with tear rolling down her cheek.

But those tears were short-lived because this day was about strength.

"God bless you. Absolutely God Bless you and God Bless the support," said Chuck Breath.

Everyone who participated in the walk had a different motivation in mind, whether that was a family member or a good friend that's battling the disease. But, at the end of the event, they all had the same hope and mind.

"I just hope soon that we'll be able to find a cure one day and that nobody else will have to suffer this disease," said Cindy Dyle.

"That they find a cure, that's the real hope, not only for me but for everybody," said Chuck Dyle.

With colorful shirts, hopeful hearts and smiling faces hundreds vowed to stay by their loved one's side, hand in hand, until that cure is found.

The event raised more than $25,000. That money will go to ALS Association and support vital services for people living with ALS, throughout Mississippi.

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