Community Shows Support for Woman with ALS - WBAY

Community Shows Support for Woman with ALS

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It's more than just a viral video challenge for one Manitowoc County family. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and a community walk hold special hope and promise for a mother suffering from the disease.

It's hard to hear the term ALS lately without seeing someone dumping a bucket of ice water on their head. That's what dozens of people did Saturday before hitting the streets for the first "Walk to Defeat ALS" in Manitowoc County.

The walk was organized by family, friends and caregivers of Bernette Seiler, a Manitowoc woman diagnosed with the disease four years ago.

Recognizing how much people cared, after the family asked for donations for another ALS walk, they jumped on the opportunity to do something closer to home.

"We signed up for the one that's on September 27th in Appleton and we started getting pledges and we were getting a lot of money, because my mom and dad are very well known in Manitowoc, so I said 'why don't we do our own in manitowoc,'" said Tina Kocourek, who is Bernette's daughter.

The community responded as more than 200 people walked the three mile course Saturday with Bernette Seiler on their minds and their shirts.

"It's a wonderful awareness of what's going on in the world and sometimes we put our head in the sand and today is a good day to get out and support it and contribute to it," said Joanne Pritz.

After the walk, participants had lunch and the opportunity to bid on silent auction items. It's support the family says is overwhelming.

"Very happy to see all the people that showed up, all the people that donated items and stuff like this for her cause and other ALS patients," said Irv Seiler, who is Bernette's husband.

"She impacted so many people in the community so we're real happy with how this event turned out. 1,657," said Bernice Kukral, who is Bernette's sister.

They are sentiments reiterated by Bernette Seiler who can only speak now through a special computer she controls with her eyes.

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