We know that participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS is no small feat and we’re in constant awe of how teams come together to help create a world without ALS. From walking to honor a loved one, to hope for a cure, each walker has their “why” that keeps them motivated and dedicated to the cause.
We asked Alberto Schirmer, a person with ALS and past Walk participant, why he walks and here’s what he had to say:
Can we know a little about you?
My name is Alberto Schirmer and I was born in September 1957 in Porto Alegre in far South Brazil. [After moving to] Salvador I met Beth, my wife of almost 37 years, and we had three children. In 1996 we moved to the USA to get a better education for our children.
Our family has been actively involved in the Methodist church ministries in all places we lived. I currently teach Sunday school to preschoolers and sing in the choir of Katy First United Methodist church. I work full-time as Principal Engineer at Dresser –Rand, a Siemens business for the last 23 years and recently had the Houston Training center named after me- a truly humbling honor.
What is your connection to ALS?
I was diagnosed with ALS in December 2015 with first symptoms happening almost 2 years before.
What inspired you to join the Walk to Defeat ALS?
I felt the urge to increase awareness of ALS and to raise funds for research.
Have you walked in the past? What was your experience like?
My Steps – of – Hope team participated in the Greater Houston Walk in 2017 and 2018. This year my team will join the Woodlands walk so my mother (86-year-old) can join us again. A family wedding in Brazil on the date of the Greater Houston walk caused the change, but we really want her walking!
Our experience has been wonderful. Last year my boss joined and was amazed by the participation. Meeting other persons living with ALS is also very inspiring.
What would you tell others who are interested in joining the Walk?
We need more exposure in the media. I also think challenges like the oldest person walking (hope my mother wins!), the best pet attire, person coming from farthest distance, etc. may be helpful.
What’s your why? What motivates you to keep walking? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story and inspire others, and register for your closest Walk today.