August 17, 2009 09:35 ET

Finding a Cure for ALS: The Sky's the Limit

Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA ADVISRY--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2009) - A man with ALS will jump out of a plane to showcase his dedication and raise pledges and awareness for ALS research and care.

In 2002, Derek Walton was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The average life expectancy for an ALS patient is 2.7 years from date of diagnosis. Derek is fortunate his condition is deteriorating slowly.

Derek is committed to raising awareness and funds to find a cure and a cause for ALS. To support this, he will be skydiving, with an experienced instructor, from a height of 10,500 feet and seeks pledges of support.

All monies raised by the Walton Cure 4 ALS Fund will go toward funding ALS research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Derek will provide a matching donation to the first $50,000 donated to this critical cause.

All media are invited to attend. Media are asked to RSVP in advance of the event day.


- Visuals from the ground and crowd of supporters: you will see Derek train, gear up, go to the plane, fly up and land, and come down. The bystander area has an
excellent view of the drop zone. You will be informed what direction they will approach on landing and will have a visual of his approach once he is at approximately
1 to 2000 feet. The Skydive staff will be able to answer your specific questions about shot angles and locations and any other specific questions.

- B-roll of the jump will be videotaped in air by specialized "video flyers" and the exciting footage will be burned and shared with media requesting it

- Interviews with Derek Walton, Sunnybrook Neurologist Dr. Lorne Zinman, and Sunnybrook Foundation spokesperson Monica Samoila

- BBQ, international clowns, pocket magic, free face-painting, balloons, silent auction, and much more. All are invited to bring the whole family

DATE: Saturday, August 22, 2009

TIME: Skydive is expected to take place at 3 p.m. The entire event will run from 1 - 4:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Skydive Toronto
3065 4th Line
RR #1 Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0 (five minutes north east of Hwy #400 & 89 cutoff)
From the intersection of Highways 400 and 401, it is a 30 minute drive
Directions from Toronto available at:


For more information and to RSVP:
Nadia Radovini, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Phone: (416) 480-4040, Email:
Your contact on the day of the event: Swaati Mehra, Cell phone: (416) 937-5794

Contact Information

  • Nadia Radovini, Communications Advisor, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
    Primary Phone: 416-480-4040