Race for Wandell brings a community together - WFLA News Channel 8

Race for Wandell brings a community together

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ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) -

A beloved member of the Tri Cities community battles an incurable disease - and today, he witnessed a community joined together to let him know he's not alone.

We first introduced you to Josh Wandell last month. He's an Elizabethon Elementary School principal battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

It's a neuro-motor disorder that robs you of the ability to use your muscles.

There's no known cause or cure.

The average age at diagnosis: 55.

Josh Wandell was diagnosed at 34.

The average life espectancy span after diagnosis: 2 to 5 years.

The cost of care for someone with advanced ALS: $200,000 dollars a year

That's why Wandell's family, friends, and yes - even complete strangers, gathered together to run for Josh, and for a cure for ALS.

Friends and co-workers organized the Race For Wandell, a 3K walk and run. The event gathered money, and saw more than a thousand people gather on the East Side Elementary School grounds.

Organizers say the event was a success. Josh Wandell said it meant so much to see so many people support him and his fight.

"It's just amazing to know that this many people care, this many people love me," said Wandell.

He added that he hopes people see his faith in God through his battle, and he hope others keep fighting to find a cure for ALS.

"There's a cure. We know there is. Our God is the Great Physician and I just know that the cure for this disease is somewhere close."

Organizers told us the first annual event was a success. Friends came from Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, and North Carolina.

Jason Witten's Score Foundation donated $3000 to the ALS Association, and the Dallas Cowboys matched the donation.

Witten also donated $3000 to Team Wandell. He is also sending Josh to the Dallas/Minnesota Viking game, all expenses paid.

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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