Join Second “Nana’s Run” to Benefit ALS Patients

March 9, 2015 2:55 pm
ED Nurses Hannah Monsma and Becky Dykstra volunteered to provide Good Samaritan aid during Nana's Run.

ED Nurses Hannah Monsma and Becky Dykstra volunteered to provide Good Samaritan aid during Nana’s Run in 2014.

Funds from “Nana’s Run” 5k run/walk will go toward The ALS Association Michigan Chapter and the ALS Clinic at the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences.

Registration has opened for the second year of Nana’s Run, a 5k run/walk that will take place on Saturday, May 30 at 10 a.m. in downtown Grand Rapids. Proceeds from the event will support the ALS Clinic at the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences as well as The ALS Association Michigan Chapter.

For the 2015 Nana’s Run, event organizers expect high participation and support from the Grand Rapids community. Those interested in registering for Nana’s Run can visit www.nanasrun.com or register the morning of the race. The entry fee is $25 on or before May 18 and $30 beginning on May 19 until race day.

Nana’s Run was established to honor the legacy of Char “Nana” VanderLaan, the mother of Pamella DeVos and grandmother of race co-chairs Cassandra and Sydney DeVos. Nana passed away from complications with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, in 2014. The experience inspired Cassandra and Sydney to create a 5k race that would benefit the ALS community. At the inaugural event in 2014, more than 1,200 runners and walkers participated and more than $290,000 was raised and given to the ALS Clinic at the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences in Grand Rapids and The ALS Association Michigan Chapter.

“Sydney and I received such a positive response from the community during the inaugural Nana’s Run in 2014,” said Cassandra DeVos. “It was great to see so many people come together and help us raise money to support The ALS Association and the ALS Clinic at the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences. It was also touching to hold an event of that magnitude in honor of our Nana.”

“We’re excited to bring the 5K run and walk back in 2015 and are happy to help raise further awareness about ALS in West Michigan,” Sydney DeVos added. “ALS is a complex disease and the fight to find a cure is ongoing…which is why fundraising events like Nana’s Run are so critical.”

“Our Mercy Health multidisciplinary ALS clinic team understands that the best patient-centered care for a person diagnosed with ALS comes from the collaboration among clinicians, researchers, patients, caregivers and community,” said Melanie Taylor, MD, director of the ALS Clinic at Mercy Health. “Nana’s Run is a wonderful collaborative tribute to Mrs. Char “Nana” VanderLaan and her loving family. We are grateful to be involved.”

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