ALS Across America

John Davsko, Springfield, Illinois

St. Louis Regional Chapter

John and Sue Davsko

When Sangamon County board member John Davsko was diagnosed with ALS in November 2010, he, his wife Susan, and their family and friends joined forces to fight the disease.  They formed a Walk team for The St. Louis Regional Chapter of The ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALSŪ to raise funds for research and care services.  The team, Johnny’s Walkers, raised $11,215.00 and became the second highest fundraisers for the chapter’s 2011 Springfield Walk. 

For their efforts in fighting ALS, the chapter will honor the Davskos in May during ALS Awareness Month for the annual “ALS Across America” campaign.

“John and Susan never asked ‘Why Me?’ when they learned of John’s ALS diagnosis,” said Director of Care Services and Chapter Programs, Mary Riggs, M.S., CRC, LPC.  “Instead they reacted with action.” The Davskos plan on re-grouping their Walk team for the 2012 Springfield Walk on June 16, even though ALS has affected Davsko’s ability to talk.    

“The Davskos have helped to stimulate awareness of ALS in central Illinois by always being willing to share John’s story.  Even though the disease has impacted John’s ability to speak, his voice is still heard,” Riggs said.  This summer, Davsko will use his connections in professional baseball to help spread awareness of the disease.  He will increase engagement between the chapter and the St. Louis Cardinals for the chapter’s annual “Strike Out ALS” campaign.  In 1968, the Cardinals drafted Davsko into their team, but an arm injury ended his career.

Although the disease prevents Davsko and his wife from traveling to the nation’s capital for the National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference, a few of their friends who reside in Washington D.C. plan to advocate on their behalf and represent the chapter on Capitol Hill. 

Editors Note: We regret to say that John Davsko died on April 6, 2012 after his battle with ALS.  We offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

The ALS Association