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Shelburne’s Walk to End ALS honours late Cathi Snider

June 25, 2020   ·   0 Comments


Shelburne local Evelyn Sime and her family took part in the Walk to End ALS last Sunday (June 21) in honour of her daughter Cathi Snider. 

“We did this to honour Cathi, to help support families, to fund research and to hopefully see a cure one day,” said Debra Bettio, one of Cathi’s sisters in an email to the Free Press. 

The Walk To End ALS is a Canada-wide volunteer led fundraiser, the largest for ALS Societies in the country. The walk took place on June 21, virtually through FaceBook, with 31 different communities throughout the province participating. Those walking in honour of Cathi (Team Cathi) walked in Shelburne, Amaranth, Alliston, Oro-Medonte, and British Columbia. Those partaking in the tribute event dressed in purple, her favourite colour, while also donning purple facemasks. 

“The COVID-19 isolation has allowed us all to reflect on what our new normal will be without her,” said Bettio. “This is an opportunity for us to remotely show our support and respect for all that Cathi endured.” 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or just as commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terminal progressive nervous system disease that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord causing loss of muscle control. After having a couple falls, undergoing physiotherapy, and taking several tests, Cathi was diagnosed with ALS in August of 2019. She passed away from the disease in February, after battling it for six months.  

“They tell you two to five years is the average (lifespan for) ALS patients, so Cathi was a lot more rapid than that,” said Sheri Sime, another of Cathi’s sisters who walked with Evelyn in Shelburne. 

“We didn’t really understand the disease and how fast it works. It was less than a year and it was devastating,” said Doug Snider, Cathi’s husband. 

Cathi is described by her family as having been a very strong and independent person. She loved the sun, playing cards, and was an avid baker ,going far enough to teach her caretakers to make her Christmas cookies to hand out. 

“She was very strong willed, independent, whatever she wanted to do got done,” said Snider, giving a small chuckle, while Evelyn confirmed her daughter’s personality with a resounding “that’s her”.

Team Cathi raised $3,480 out of a total of $10,436 raised in Dufferin County, which sees 40 percent going towards the research of ALS and 60 percent going towards community-based support. Brain Canada is matching the research portion of the donations up to $1 million. 



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