Local Grandchild Heads to Dallas on $40,000 Fundraiser

Kate Walker poses with Dr. David Lynch, Friedreich ataxia program director at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who has treated her and about 70% of the FA patients in the country.

Kate Walker, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bo Walker and Dr. and Mrs. Jimmy Walker of Winnfield, is headed to Dallas again this weekend for the family’s seventh participation in the “Ride Ataxia Dallas” fundraiser, this year having set a person goal of raising $40,000 towards research and a cure for this debilitating disease. (She’s now at $32,000).

This event, held in four major cities across the country, was organized and directed by Kyle Bryant who himself suffers Friedreich ataxia. FA is a rare, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. The Dallas Ride offers three different courses for cyclists (6-mile, 25-mile and 50-mile) as well as a 1.5-mile walking option. The Ride is held in the University of North Texas Discovery Park.

The Dallas Nov. 4 event has set an overall goal of $175,000 this year and is currently standing around $116,000. “This may sound good but it’s not the biggest by any stretch,” explained Bo Walker. “There are Balls and Soirees in places like Miami and Denver that bring in over $1 million each. But even that is small compared to the funding needed to beat this disorder. Still, everything helps and is appreciated.”

Asked to put into words what he sees as he looks ahead to his seventh trip west to watch Ride Ataxia Dallas, Walker explains, “I can tell you my deal…it’s a bunch of good people getting together to do what they can to find a cure for FA…we’ve become friends. Some riders have the disorder. Others are friends and family. It’s a good social time that surely gives an emotional boost to those who have FA and can see so much support.”

Turnout annually may be 300 to 400, including one ground that Walker describes as the “Dallas Police Bike Cops. They ride as a team and pay their entry fee and all to support the cause.” A number of local fundraising events have been held to help Kate Walker reach her 2023 goal. But with today’s Facebook generation, online contributions have made a big difference. Those wishing to help may contact her grandparents locally or find Kate’s Facebook page or even look to the curefa.org website where “Kate’s Krewe” can be located.