RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Get your running shoes and run for a good cause on Saturday. North Raleigh’s Sola Coffee and Café is hosting it’s annual 5K run.
This is the ninth year Sola Coffee has hosted this even—but this year things will be a little different.
Ten years ago John Luther and his wife, Jeanne, dreamed of being involved in a community, serving them with food and great hospitality— but things drastically took a turn for the worst in August of 2018.
“Little did we know—in the seventh year of Sola, Jeanne would be diagnosed with ALS,” John told CBS 17.
ALS is a rare neurological disease that primarily affects the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement, like chewing, walking, and even talking.
“Some ways it seems like forever—others it’s a blink of an eye,” John said. “We learned very quickly that ALS was essentially a death sentence, and it was just a matter of time.”
Unfortunately, Jeanne passed away in April of 2022, at the age of 57.
The Luthers initially started the run in support of wounded warriors but rebranded to show support toward ALS research after her diagnoses .
The race has become a community staple hosted by Sola. Over the years, they have raised well over $300,000 in the fight against ALS.
This Saturday at 8:30 a.m. will be the first 5K run the family will host without Jeanne.
“Even though it’s a devastating disease and one that just rips your heart out, we are trying hard to funnel money to Duke ALS [and] to try to figure out how do we end ALS,” John said.
Currently, there is no cure for ALS and no effective treatment. John shared their goal this year is to raise $200,000.
All money raised will go toward ALS research.
For more information on how to register to participate, or donate, click here.