Algonquin Woman Organizes Local ALS Tag Days in Memory of Friend
Volunteers will be out at intersections and storefronts in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills to raise money for the annual ALS Tag Days fundraising event, which raises money to combat Lou Gehrig's disease.
Deborah Guilbeault of Algonquin knows all too well the devastation of Lou Gehrig’s disease.
In 2004, a childhood friend, Trevor Lehmann of Wheeling, was diagnosed with the incurable disease. Before he died on Jan. 13, 2005, he requested that Guilbeault continue to raise money to help find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
And that's just what she did.
On Saturday, Guilbeault will be out with other area volunteers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at intersections and storefronts in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills for the annual ALS Tag Days fundraising event.
The volunteers will wear yellow aprons and will take donations to combat Lou Gehrig’s disease. She said to watch for volunteers at the intersections of Lakewood and Algonquin roads, Randall Road and Polaris Drive, and in front of the Jewel-Osco along Randall in Algonquin and the Dominick's in Lake in the Hills.
Last year, the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills ALS Tag Days event raised $4,500.
"And that was just people's spare change and dollar bills," Guilbeault said.
This year, she hopes to raise $5,000.
Other Tag Days events will be held in communities throughout Chicagoland in May, which is also National ALS Awareness Month. The grassroots campaign is not only meant to raise money for research, patient services and educational programs, but also to increase awareness about ALS, according to the Les Turner ALS Foundation.
Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, according to ALS.org.
The average life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years.
About 20 percent of those with ALS live five years or more, as many as 10 percent will survive more than 10 years, and 5 percent will live 20 years. For some, ALS will stop progressing and a small number will see the ALS symptoms reverse, according to ALS.org.
Other upcoming ALS events in the area include:
- Crystal Lake: May 12 and 13
- Marengo: May 20
- Elgin: May 19
- Schaumburg: May 12