A race with a purpose… Seventh annual Race for Wandell draws record number of sponsors

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 1, 2019

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” KJV Joshua 1:9
Great words of faith that have been the battle cry of Dr. Josh Wandell and his family since Dr. Wandell was first diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease as many refer to the illness.
The ALS Foundation describes the disease in the following manner:
-ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. “A” means no. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment – “No muscle nourishment.”
When a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located.
As this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region.
Dr. Wandell and his family have not been alone in the battle to bring attention to the disease in hopes of finding a cure as for the last seven years, the Race for Wandell has been a way of helping the family financially as well as making the public aware of ALS.
On Saturday at Eastside Elementary over 100 competitive runners came to compete in a 3K road race and between 300 to 500 who came out for the fun walk and run.
But this day truly wasn’t about who won or lost but in the spirit of helping one’s fellow man and his family.
“It’s just amazing,” said Kelly Geagley, Dr. Wandell’s uncle who orchestrates with others to make the event run smoothly. “The first year a lot of his teachers and running buddies decided to have a race and we didn’t know anything about racing, we just thought we were going to buy some t-shirts and break even.
“You see today. They say it will never be as good but the community still continues to support us. For seven years now and this year, we have had record numbers of sponsors.
“500 walkers were registered and we are blessed as we live in a wonderful community that comes out and supports Josh and what he believes in. It’s just great.
One of the amazing facts from the race is that the race has never had to deal with weather-related issues.
“It’s been seven years in a row and we have never had a drop of rain during the race,” Geagley said. “It’s rained before the race, it’s rained when we were cleaning up, but it has never rained a drop on the race itself.”
For more on the race itself, please check out the race results and photos in today’s STAR sports section.

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