By Ashley Rader
Friends and family of East Side Elementary School Principal Josh Wandell will host a three-kilometer run/walk Sept. 14, to raise funds and to raise awareness of ALS disease.
Wandell was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, on June 4. As part of his treatment, he will travel frequently to the University of Kentucky to meet with his team of doctors.
Kelly Geagley, Wandell’s uncle and one of the race organizers, said the expenses for the trips and the medical treatment would be “astronomical” and the race was planned to help cover some of the costs of medical care.
“Josh has always been a runner,” Geagley said. “He has been in marathons and half-marathons. When he was diagnosed, his brother Neil and T.J. Brown, (East Side Elementary librarian) said ‘Let’s do a race.’ It took off. Teachers, family and community members all want to know how they can help. It has gotten really big and it keeps growing daily.”
Geagley said they thought the race would have a large response from the Elizabethton community but did not expect the response that came after the race was announced.
“We have heard from people all around the Tri-Cities and across the country,” he said. “They are calling and emailing wanting to know what they can do to help.”