Students put on run for ALS


Photo from
Gina Byrd is getting money from this year Jim Schoemehl 5K on May 12 for a new power chair.

Aerin Johnson
Staff Writer

DECA’s 11th annual Jim Schoemehl 5K run for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease is on May 12, this year.

Jim Schoemehl was the husband of former marketing teacher Alicia Schoemehl. In 2001 he was diagnosed with ALS. Marketing tudents created the project to reach out to their teacher. However, in July 2003 Schoemehl lost his battle to ALS.

“ALS is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease,” said the Jim Schoemehl Run’s website. The disease causes the nervous system to stop functioning and die. When the nervous system stops working, the patient no longer has control over voluntary muscles. In the United States, 5,600 people every year are diagnosed with ALS.

ALS currently has no cure. Remedies only prolong or improve life quality. Patients usually only live three-to-five years after diagnosis.

Each year 20 percent of the money raised goes to the ALS Foundation, and the rest goes to a specific person. This year’s marketing class decided to raise the money for Gina Byrd.

“We’re trying to buy her a new power chair,” said senior Allie Rosemann, one of the chairpersons for the run.

Last year the run raised money for David Hillard, and the class raised about $10,000. About 400 runners came according to Rosemann. This year sponsors hope to raise about $15,000 and have about 700 runners.

Some of the challenges of the run are that it’s done only by high school students Rosemann commented. They also have to get sponsors for the run.

“As a chair person, telling your peers and friends orders is challenging,” Rosemann said.

Marketing also would like to have more high school students at the run because mainly adults come and run.

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