Unlock ALS with Keys from Anderson Lock

The ALS Association launched Unlock ALS to make a difference in the lives of people living with this progressive neurodegenerative disease. Walk to Defeat ALS events get people involved in the ALS Association’s mission, campaigns and activities.

Teresa and Gene Anderson, with their dog, Arne, promote Unlock ALS… the yellow key indicates that he is living with ALS. Research to find a cure is a key focus of the ALS Association.

In 2019, Gene Anderson, founder of Anderson Lock, was diagnosed with ALS. Gene and his wife, Teresa, are retired, and are now living in Arizona year around, but it wasn’t long ago that Gene was seen motoring around downtown Arlington Heights in his electric wheelchair. Andersons are shown here with their dog, Arne. Gene is also pictured on the blog home page with grandaughters Cathryn Wascher and Evie Ganan.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” named after the famous New York Yankees baseball player who was forced to retire after developing the disease in 1939. Doctors usually don’t know why ALS occurs.

The vision of the ALS Association is to create a world without ALS. The mission of the ALS Association is “to discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.”

Unlock ALS Walks are the #1 way supporters raise funds for those living with ALS. There are more than 170 events across the country. In addition, the walk events provide a way to honor those who have lost their lives because of ALS, and serve as a reminder that the key to a cure begins with us.

At walk events, held in cities and towns across America, participants wear a colored lanyard with a symbolic key to represent their connection to ALS.

A yellow lanyard indicates that the participant is currently diagnosed with ALS.

Blue lanyards represent honoring someone who has ALS.

A white lanyard says, “I’ve lost someone to ALS.”

Red lanyards show support for the cause and a desire to defeat ALS.

What is ALS?

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. There is no cure for ALS yet.

The ALS Association’s nationwide network of chapters and other partners provide localized patient and family support in communities across the country. This network of chapter-based professionals delivers a robust portfolio of care and support programs designed to enhance quality of life and support families affected by ALS.

Allison Walked With Team Laura

Allison walked in memory of Laura Gagliano

In June of this year, Allison Martinec, one of Anderson Lock’s customer service representatives, participated in a local Unlock ALS Mini-Walk as a member of ‘Team Laura’ which raised $11,000 to support families affected by ALS. Allison walked to honor the memory of her friend Rosie’s sister, Laura, to “make Laura proud and have some laughs along the way!”

The Walk to Defeat ALS program raises funds to provide care services and resources for those living with ALS, as well as supports nationwide advocacy and global research toward better treatments and a cure.


Be a Key to Unlock ALS!

You can make a difference in the lives of people living with ALS. Help create a world without ALS by getting involved. Join “Team Gene”! Walk with your coworkers, friends, and family members while raising funds to defeat ALS.

Details of Anderson Lock’s “Team Gene” will be announced soon for this Unlock ALS walk event.

Blog readers residing outside Chicagoland can register for your own local Walk to Defeat ALS by visiting www.walktodefeatals.org and select the Walk location you would like to join. You can search by zip code or state.