12th annual Walk to Defeat ALS is another success

Felicity Tomisaka, Reporter

The 12th annual Walk to defeat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, took place Oct. 3. Stacy Inman started this walk 12 years ago from her kitchen when her husband Mike was diagnosed with ALS in Nov. of 1999.

“It was a fifty to fifty diagnoses in Bakersfield and we weren’t sure what it was so we went down to UCLA. We didn’t know what the heck this was really so in Jan. 2000 we started going to a support group in West Lake Village, Los Angles area.”

On average, eight out of every 100,000 people are diagnosed with ALS every year. “Meaning 60 people in Kern County are already suffering with ALS and they don’t even know it.” Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes someone dies from it, and then within a two-week period someone else is diagnosed with ALS.

Many sponsors were in attendance such as Sun solar, Free Port Max Around, a company in the oil industry, Kitchen Cabinet Committee, and the Bakersfield High School football team.

Johnny Maran, a coach for BHS, said all three BHS football teams were in attendance to show support for Coach Lance McCullah who has been battling ALS for two years.

Also in attendance was Julie Himot, regional Director of Signature Events, who directed the Walk.

Himot has been involved with ALS Kern County for four years.

“The mission goals of the ALS Association are Care Services, Research, and Advocacy. Care services include: a care manager, support groups, and a loan closet. Meaning when someone passes away they’ll donate items to Care services so someone else will be able to use it.”

Himot also said, “because of the ice bucket challenge we are able to fund research projects… and because the ice bucket challenge was organic, the ALS Association generated 115 million from people’s support.”

Inman estimates about 500 people were in attendance this year, raising $68,098.50. They are still accepting donations through December. For more information call