Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Walkin’. . .yes indeed I’m walkin’!

Defeat ALS! Join Team Lempa

On December 12, 2013 I received a phone call from my mom while my co-workers were wishing me a happy 33rd birthday. My Dad had lost a 2.5 year battle with ALS (aka amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Lou Gehrig’s Disease). While his passing wasn’t unexpected, we didn’t think it would happen on my birthday. Needless to say I hopped in my car and started driving. And driving.

This trip was nothing new -hell I once road a 125cc scooter from Lawrence, KS to Chicago – but it was different. It was both longer and quicker. Further and shorter. Multiple text messages from my brother reminded me to be safe while at the same time telling me that I needed to get home sooner. Rachel checked in to make sure that I was OK as did a few of my closest friends. Gaslight Anthem’s ’59 Sound was on repeat.

The drive itself was mostly a blur. I do remember laughing and crying as long lost memories formed a mental collage. When I arrived in Berwyn I was greeted by my Mom and brother. We hugged, laughed, and cried.

Three months later it is still hard to believe that our family of five is now a family of four. This experience has both weakened and strengthened us as a family. I am grateful for my friends and family that supported me throughout this ordeal and have checked in on me afterwards. I might not always say it, but I love and appreciate you.

I am also extremely thankful for the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter. Without them I don’t know how we would have made it through this ordeal. They provided equipment, guidance, and emotional support. Additionally the ALS Association also supports research to fight ALS and discover a cure.

Last year I captained the top fundraising team in the Walk to Defeat ALS. This year we have reformed Team Lempa and are again raising money to find a cure to this horrific disease. You can support us by clicking here: http://webchicago.alsa.org/goto/ChrisLempa2014

PS – I will be participating in a number of runs throughout the year. I will use these runs to raise money for the ALSA and to raise awareness of this horrific disease.

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How to Join Team Lempa

There are two ways to join Team Lempa as we Walk to Defeat ALS. One is as a Virtual Walker and the other is as a Fundraising Walker.

Step 1 – Go to http://webchicago.alsa.org/goto/TeamLempa

Step 2 – Click on Join Team

Step 3 – Choose either Virtual Walker or Fundraising Walker.

Choose Virtual Walker if you will not be able to attend the actual walk but would like to help us fundraise.

Choose Fundraising Walker if you will be able to walk.

Step 4 – Fill out the rest of the information.

Step 5 – DONE!

It’s that simple. Once you have joined Team Lempa we ask that you help us raise money for the ALS Association. As some of you know, this organization has been extremely helpful for my entire family.

Please contact me if you have any questions. My email is 8 lempa 8 (at) gmail . com (remove the spaces and use the @ symbol).