About ALS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.
  • ALS can affect anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity or age. It most often affects people aged 40-60.
  • Only about 5 to 10 per cent of ALS cases are inherited from a family member.
  • An estimated 3,000 Canadians are currently living with ALS--400 of which are living in BC.
  • Each year approximately 1,000 Canadians die from ALS. A similar number of Canadians are diagnosed with ALS each year.
  • 80 per cent of people with ALS die within two to five years of being diagnosed.
  • There are few effective treatments for ALS and no cure.
  • ALS has an estimated cost to families of $150,000 to $250,000. This includes the loss of salary that often comes about when a family member leaves their job to care for their loved one full-time.

About ALS BC

The ALS Society of British Columbia was founded in 1981 by ALS patients, their family members and healthcare professionals to meet the physical and emotional needs of people living with ALS and their caregivers. Visit our website to learn about what we do at the ALS Society of British Columbia.

Mission Statement

To cure ALS through funding research, while advocating for and supporting people living with ALS.

Value Statement

Support – We’re always here to support ALS patients, their families and caregivers, striving to provide the best quality of life possible for those living with ALS.

Equal Access – Each ALS patient and their family has unique needs. We support everyone equitably.

Collaboration – From our team of staff and volunteers to global collaborators, we’re working together to help find a cure for ALS, and continually improve how we support ALS patients and their families.

Fiscal Responsibility – Our society operates responsibly and transparently, and our donors can remain confident in how we use their funds.

Dream Bigger – Through leadership in clinical trials, innovation, and scientific curiosity, we’ll help find a cure for ALS.

Vision – Long Term Goal – Aspiration

End ALS through a world class center at UBC.