May 20, 2019 3 min read

Hey OTBT wanderers!

Did you know that May is ALS Awareness Month here in the United States? If you’ve ever taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, chances are you’re already at least somewhat familiar with ALS and know about the importance of continued research in hopes of finding a cure.

ALS awareness, advocacy, and research are very near and dear to us here at OTBT, so we’d like to take a minute to tell you more about this disease, what we’re doing to help spread awareness, and what you can do to get involved.
 

What Is ALS?

For those of you who may not be aware of what ALS is, here’s a brief refresher. Otherwise known Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a degenerative disease which causes the death of neurons that control the body’s voluntary muscles. This disease causes muscle weakeness, spasms and involuntary movement which gradually progresses into difficulty swallowing and breathing, and the inability to walk or use the hands or arms. Those affected by the disease, which usually begins around age 50, on average only survive between two to four years before ALS takes their life.

There currently is no cure for ALS, and the cause of the disease remains mostly unknown, though it’s suspected to be linked to genetic or environmental factors.

The OTBT Connection

ALS research is very close to our hearts here at OTBT. After our CEO and founder, Billy Carrington lost a close family member to the disease, we’ve been committed to joining others in spreading awareness and supporting ALS research to help find a cure.

Here’s a video of him performing the Ice Bucket Challenge back in 2015!

In our efforts to support ALS research, we were reached out to by Lori of Lori’s Shoe Store in Chicago, whose husband had also been diagnosed with the disease. Together, OTBT and Lori’s Shoe Store came together in a special collaboration project - to create a special red and white ALS sneaker, with 100% of the retail profits going to support ALS research. Crafted with genuine leather and technical sport materials and featuring a back tag which reads “Strike Out ALS”, the Transfer ALS was the perfect way for us to raise ALS awareness and give back to the cause.

We’ve also recently partnered with the retail chain Von Maur to sell the shoes on their site, as well as at the upcoming 8th Annual Laura’s Legacy benefit concert in Rock Island, IL. All proceeds will go to benefiting the ALS Association of Greater Chicago and ALS research at the University of North Carolina. Through our partnership with Von Maur and the event in Illinois, we hope to continue to spread awareness and raise funds for ALS research.

How You Can Get Involved

Want to join us in getting involved with ALS Awareness Month? Here’s a few ways you can help!

Donate

Financial support for ALS research is always appreciated. You can donate directly to some of our favorite charities, the Les Turner ALS Foundation and the ALS Association of Greater Chicago.

Participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS

The ALS Association is always hosting the Walk to Defeat ALS all thoughout the United States. If you’d like to participate in the walk, be sure to check out their website, where you can search for a nearby walk to join, or put support behind a walker or team in your area.

Raise Awareness with the Transfer ALS

If you’d like to purchase the Transfer ALS, you can do so here, through Lori’s Shoes, or on Von Maur’s website. All of the retail profits from the sale of these shoes go directly to support ALS research. Plus, these striking red sneaks are the perfect conversation starter and a great way to raise awareness for ALS.

Attend the Benefit Concert

Live in the Greater Chicago area? Be sure to join us at the 8th Annual Laura’s Legacy benefit concert on Saturday, June 8th! Enjoy live performances and support ALS research, with the proceeds going directly to the ALS Association of Greater Chicago.

No matter how you choose to get involved, we hope you are inspired to take part in ALS Awareness Month and join the fight against ALS. Together, we can find a cure and strike out ALS once and for all!

How will you be supporting the cause? Let us know in the comments below!


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