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'Walk to Defeat ALS' this weekend in Portland

Newly diagnosed last November at age 50, Noel Levasseur is determined to make a difference in the fight against ALS. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) – Every day, about 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS in this country.

It's estimated around 30,000 people are living with the progressive, eventually fatal disease.

A Maine man is one of them. Newly diagnosed last November at age 50, Noel Levasseur is determined to make a difference in the fight against ALS.

Levasseur's symptoms are mostly confined to his upper extremities, where he is losing strength in his hands, arms and voice, but Levasseur does not focus on that.

Instead, he is part of a groundbreaking stem cell trial out of Mass General and has testified about funding for ALS research in Washington.

"Going back to my years and years of coaching, I was always, you know, we gotta fight, go play hard until that last out," Levasseur said. "And as a dad, probably this will be the last real lesson I teach my daughters and that is about strength under adversity."

Levasseur has a team of about 150 people in this weekend's "Walk to Defeat ALS" at Payson Park in Portland.

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