Dave Walman

I have been associated with the ALS Society of BC since 2004 when my wife was diagnosed with ALS. Patty and I first met in 1968 at a small hospital in the Okanagan where I was the assistant administrator and she was starting her first job as a nurse. Prior to that, I had completed a diploma course in small hospital administration from the University of Saskatchewan. We were married in 1970, and in 1972 we moved to Vancouver where I expected to continue my education. However, two children, Mark and Kylie, interrupted that plan. Today they are grown up and have children of their own, which occupies much of Grandpa’s time.

Recognizing the financial implications of raising a family, I chose to experiment with a variety of careers, including banking, real estate and selling pharmaceuticals. After 14 years in the pharmaceutical business, I came to the realization that I was more interested and probably better suited to a more direct, hands-on approach to helping people in need of medical care. I received a nursing diploma from BCIT in 1992 and began new career as an RN, working in medical, surgical, psychiatry, emergency and long-term care.

Although I have officially retired, I still work casually in a high-acuity psychiatric unit. Certainly, my experience in the health care field has been a valuable asset to being a caregiver and a volunteer.

When Patty was diagnosed with ALS, it was only a short period of time before we became involved with volunteer opportunities, which included joining the Fraser Valley Walk Committee and participating in volunteer and caregiver conferences. Since Patty’s passing in June of 2010, I have continued to support and attend several walks. I am a director and chair of the patient services committee and the facilitator for the Abbotsford Support Group.