Team Piper Power

Marla Piper (holding sign) is surrounded by family and friends on the day of the ALS Walk at Principal Park in Des Moines. This group participated in honor and memory of Chris Piper, who passed away of ALS in January of 2019.

Team Piper Power participated in the ALS Walk Oct. 5 at Principal Park in Des Moines to honor the memory of Chris Piper and help raise funds to fight the crippling disease.

Piper passed away of ALS on Jan. 30, 2019.

Piper’s sister, Mary Poulter, said, “The ALS society of Iowa was helpful in his care.  They regularly visited and brought items for him to use in his home from their loan closet, such as door handle modifiers, a power lift chair, and a hospital bed.

“Team Piper Power was formed to honor Chris Piper in his battle with ALS in the fall of 2018.  Chris was able to attend the walk last fall and helped raise over $14,000 for research.”

Poulter said anyone wanting to donate to the cause may send checks to Mary Piper Poulter, 740 Boise St., Colfax, IA 50054, or to Marla Piper, 19269 Timber Ave., Bloomfield, IA 52537.

When a person is diagnosed with ALS, the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord begin to die. Gradually, a person is robbed of the ability to walk, speak, eat, and eventually breathe. All the while, the mind remains sharp.

Upon diagnosis, doctors give ALS patients only two to five years to live.  More than 5,000 people are newly diagnosed with ALS each year. Currently, there is no known cause or cure, and only two treatments (which may modestly extend life) available.

The costs to care for someone living with ALS can be nearly $250,000 per year. The Walk to Defeat ALS funds local care services to help alleviate that cost, as well as cutting-edge research in the search for a cause and cure.