Well Dad, this will be the 8th time the team will lace-up our sneakers to walk in your memory. We have raised over $70,000 since we started, and although this year will be different, Warren's Walkers will be at it again to add to that total. Many wonderful people will be walking in many different locations so you, Jim, and Linda will be busy this year greeting everyone as usual. We will all make the best of it and though the team will be separated physically, in spirit we will be together.
To sum things up, Warren's Walkers is a pretty special group. We walk, fundraise, and donate in the hopes a cure for ALS can be found. We do this with passion. We do this with commitment. But most importantly, we do this together.
(My oldest son Zach shared these words several years ago as team captain and I just can't delete. So here is the repeat!)
Hi, my name is Zach Warren and I am Arthur’s (or as I called him, Gramps) grandson. This year I’m stepping up as team captain of Warren's Walkers, and I’ve decided to write a few words about Gramps and the time I got to spend with him. Gramps always had a special place within me. He would spend time with me playing cards and telling me stories about his fishing trips. I’m grateful that most of my memories of him were happy, because I was only eight or nine when his condition hit a tipping point. But as his condition grew worse, and I got older, I knew that he wouldn’t be with us for long. I remember the very Sunday morning when my dad came to visit us at our mom’s house. As soon as Dad said he wanted to talk to me and my brother privately, I knew what had happened. I knew that Gramps had left us.
I remembered looking around at the wake and seeing hundreds of people there. It was incredible how in his lifetime, Gramps had managed to inspire so many people. I heard stories from his friends, past co-workers, and our family about his life. These days, now that I’m thirteen, I know that he’s in a better place. The weeks before his passing he wasn’t in great shape. No one should have to suffer the way he did. Gramps endured so much.
People have to endure ALS every day. Not just those who have it, but also caregivers, family, friends, the medical community, researchers, and those who have lost someone. It's why I am part of Warren's Walkers. To endure and see this thing through to the very end. Thanks so much for being part of the team in the past and I hope to see you again this year.