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My ALS Story – Dave Coker and Team Coker Stars

2023 EB Walk Dave Coker And Aileen Kim Landscape

Born and raised in Richmond, California, Dave Coker has always dedicated his life to helping others. He first started his career as a social worker at a psychiatric hospital during his senior year of college. After graduation, he trained American Indian health workers and worked with the Children’s Home Society to divert children from the judicial system, serving as a therapist with probation officers. Dave then worked as a human resources analyst for 24 years at the University of California and finally went into ethnic studies before retiring in 2005.

Dave’s professional experience helped prepare him to provide care for his father, George Coker, after he was diagnosed with ALS. George became a Forbes Norris ALS Research and Treatment Center patient in San Francisco and participated in an ALS research project. As a WWII veteran, George always maintained a positive outlook throughout his battle with the disease. When the research project proved ineffective as a potential treatment, George’s perspective was that this helped eliminate one variable and could help turn the focus onto finding another treatment that could cure ALS.

While caring for their father at home, Dave and his sister, Adrianne, realized that they needed more help. They connected with a caregiver named Clemens Puni, who became a dear friend of George’s. They often watched baseball together, primarily the Giants’ games. The Coker family was also able to receive support from ALS Golden West’s care managers, who guided Dave in getting care for his father.

After George died from ALS in September 2005, Dave, and his wife of 36 years, Aileen Kim participated with their friends and loved ones in ALS Golden West’s East Bay Walk for the first time. Since then, Dave and Aileen have continued to participate in the East Bay Walk in memory of George and the many other families that are affected by the devastating disease.

“Don’t give up hope, and show up for things, because your presence has a value (that) you can’t calculate. 

It means so much for people living with ALS to see people out supporting them and working for the cause. 

So don’t give up hope. Keep going. And show up.”

-Dave Coker

“I continue to come to the Walk every year because it’s important to help people with ALS and their families until there are treatments and cures.”

-Aileen Kim, wife of Dave Coker

Dave’s team, Team Coker Stars, has participated in 18 Walks, raising more than $6,000 this year and totaling more than $70,500 to date.

The family’s years of dedication and perseverance as Team Coker Stars provides help and hope to the ALS community, and accelerates the search for effective prevention strategies, treatments, and cures.

Everything we do is powered by people who care about people living with ALS. ALS Golden West is incredibly grateful to Dave, and every person who takes the opportunity to support our efforts on behalf of the ALS community during the holiday season and throughout the year.

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