July 16th, 2024

Getting into the flow to fight ALS

By Mo Cranker on July 10, 2017.

Salli Siewert, Jessica Lavigne, Julie Shaw and Alyssa Mack do a four-person downward dog Saturday afternoon at Kin Coulee Park during a Karma Yoga session in support of a local man with ALS. --NEWS PHOTO\ MO CRANKER


Despite the heat, a large group of yoga enthusiasts met at Kin Coulee Park Saturday afternoon to get in a good workout and to raise money for a local man battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS).

The event was called a Karma Yoga session and it was held by Yoga You4ia in support of Brad Handley, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2014.

“What we’re doing today is holding a free yoga class and accepting cash donations for Brad’s family,” said event organizer Salli Siewert. “We have done other Karma classes in the past, and did one for Brad before, but we wanted to put this class on today specifically for Brad and his family.”

Siewert said she has known Brad for a while, and wants to continue to help the Handley family in any way possible.

“We just wanted to do something to help the family out,” she said. “I’ve known Brad for a while now and I actually used to go running with him. As we’ve seen him progress through this, we’ve seen things get worse. We want to make sure we can help him, even if it’s just a little bit.”

Through the two most recent fundraisers, Siewert and the attendees to the classes have raised approximately $2,000.

Handley said the diagnosis has been life altering.

“When I first heard I might have ALS, we were trying to have our first child,” he said. “It just came out of the blue really. I didn’t think it was anything too serious, but after a couple weeks of testing, the doctors were pretty sure it was ALS. It was just devastating for me and my wife. They tell you the stats of people living for three to five years, and your life just changes right then. Our son Beckett just turned two, so it’s been tough for sure.”

Handley said he cannot properly thank everyone for the support they have shown since the initial diagnosis in 2014.

“It’s so nice when people do stuff like this, it really does help,” he said. “Something like this also brings more awareness to the matterÉ Certain things are covered by the ALS Society, they’re amazing, and paid for my wheelchair, my hospital bed for the house and a lift to get in and out of the house. For us, the biggest financial strain has been the alterations we’ve had to make to the house and me not being able to work.”

To see more about Handley’s story go to, http://www.gofundme.com/28wvtzc4

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3 years ago

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