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SHIFRUNS helps raise awareness and funds for ALS

Supporters of those living with ALS skied and snowboarded 20 runs for the cause

Runs For ALS, Inc. is a local nonprofit that is completely run by volunteers. Their hope is to grow every year and have the whole mountain covered in SHIFSTRONG purple shirts with everyone skiing for those who can't.
Runs For ALS, Inc./Courtesy photo

Pam Shifrin is on a mission: to bring some peace to those suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the families who witness the disease and the toll it takes on their loved ones.

Shifrin is the leader behind the event, SHIFRUNS, a challenge that asks participants to ski or snowboard 20 ski runs in one day. The idea came about in 2019 when Shifrin realized more needed to be done to help her brother with the costs of in-home care in the later stages of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Shifrin and her supporters ski every year in memory of her brother, Brian Shifrin, and in honor of all ALS Warriors. After Brian passed in late 2019 at age 43, Pam vowed to continue the tradition and help as many people as she could living with ALS. This year they skied Vail Mountain in his honor in late March.



Runs For ALS, Inc. is a local nonprofit that is completely run by volunteers. Their hope is to grow every year and have the whole mountain covered in SHIFSTRONG purple shirts with everyone skiing for those who can’t.

“Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge craze that people did all over the world in 2014? Well, this is so much cooler!” Shifrin said. “We had such an amazing day gathering the community together. We live in Vail and are going to ski anyway; might as well take on a new challenge, raise some awareness and some money for those in need.”



While 2022 marks the fourth year of SHIFRUNS, this is its second year under Runs For ALS, Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit.

Participants of the SHIFRUNS event check out the silent auction items at the after party held at Ein Prosit in Avon after logging their 20 runs on Vail Mountain.
Runs 4 ALS/Courtesy photo

ALS is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. Nerve cells break down, which reduces functionality in the muscles that they supply. The disease eventually attacks the lungs and those with ALS are no longer able to breathe on their own. The cause is unknown and there is no cure.

“ALS does not discriminate. Anyone, anywhere, anytime … That’s when you can get an ALS diagnosis,” Shifrin said.

While ALS is statistically known as a rare disease, Shifrin believes it is one of the most horrific.

“Those afflicted with it slowly lose complete function of their entire body, while their brain remains unchanged,” Shifrin said.

Pam saw firsthand what this awful disease did for two and a half years to her brother. Not only did she see what the disease does to a person and their family, she learned more than she ever wanted to about insurance, FDA, government and nonprofits.

“Most of the ALS organizations raise money for research. This is, without a doubt, crucial to one day finding a cure. Unfortunately, in the meantime, people literally cannot afford to live with ALS. Families are broken up, they are going bankrupt or they are simply choosing not to continue on this way,” Shifrin said.

Shifrin knew she couldn’t discover a cure for ALS on her own but could help bring a little more peace to those living with it.

“And that peace is everything. All the funds raised during events are given as grants to those living with ALS,” she said.

Visit Runs4ALS.org for more information or with questions or event ideas you may have. Sign up for the newsletter and follow Runs4ALS.org on social media for the latest news.


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