Marathoning for ALS

By Brandon LaChance, Editor
Posted 6/12/24

WALNUT – Instead of dwelling on tragedy, the Monier family uses it to fuel a fight. The fight against ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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Marathoning for ALS


WALNUT – Instead of dwelling on tragedy, the Monier family uses it to fuel a fight. The fight against ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“My mom, Jan Monier, passed away from ALS in 2013. We have familiar ALS. There is a 50 percent chance someone in our family could have ALS,” Hillary Monier said. “We have had 22 people in or extended family pass away because of the disease. We have family members fighting currently. It’s very prevalent in our family.
“There isn’t a cure. Treatments are getting better but they’re still behind. We’re trying to do our best to raise money for a cause that is near and dear to us.”

Hillary, along with her older sister Kristie Cady, older brother Brad Monier, and younger brother Jordan Monier, took over the Walnut 5K Run/Walk for ALS in 2021 to help raise funds and awareness for a deadly disease.

This year’s 5K takes place at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 6 at 323 S. Main St. in Walnut.

“No one used to find out if you had the ALS gene because there wasn’t anything that could be done before,” Hillary Monier said. “There weren’t any treatments, so it just wasn’t worried about. But now, treatments are really advancing and there are a lot more studies taking place. Getting tested is becoming more common to seek out research trials to do what we can to treat the disease.

“I have had genetic testing and I do carry the gene. Brad has been tested and he does not carry the gene. Our other siblings haven’t been tested. We are trying to be active in the community and do our part to help others.”

“Yes, I have the ALS gene, but I could also die in a car accident tomorrow. We just live life to the fullest, stay close as a family, and support each other as much as we can.”

Don Monier, the Monier father, helps his co-directing children run the event.

Not only is the event for one family, but it’s for everyone fighting ALS because the Moniers want to help anyone who has felt the wrath of the disease.

“This cause is near and dear to us. Unfortunately, I’ve seen first-hand what the disease does to individuals and their support group.” Brad Monier said. “Our motivation is to help make a difference in finding a cure so other people don’t have to go through that.

“We’re very fortunate Walnut and surrounding communities support, many on a yearly basis, the way they do.”

Since the Walnut 5K Run/Walk was established in 2011, it has donated $149,643.73 to ALS research.

In the three years the Moniers have run the event, they had 466 participants help raise $16,754.32 in 2021, 439 participants raise $24,212.53 in 2022, and 541 runners/walkers pitch in $25,789 in 2023.

“All the proceeds go to ALS research to help advance research and help find cures. Everything is donated, 100 percent goes to ALS research,” Hillary Monier said. “It means so much to us that there is so much support from our family, friends, their families, the Walnut community, and the surrounding communities. We have a great support system that keeps showing up every year.

“It’s a really fun time. We get it done early in the morning and then everyone can celebrate the Fourth of July.” 

This year, the winner, second place, and third place will receive cash prices.

Registration or donation can be completed at