Inspiration for Walk to Defeat ALS has close UT ties

September 21, 2012 | Events, UToday
By Tobin J. Klinger

Her name drew the largest round of applause during President Lloyd Jacobs’ sixth annual community address, and now it is hoped that her story will draw a large number of walkers from The University of Toledo to a fundraiser in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Diane Hymore, director of senior administration operations and longtime executive secretary to Jacobs, was acknowledged for her role in preparing for the address and for serving as the president’s “personal assistant, confidant and friend for seven years.”

Now several members of the campus community are looking to pay tribute to Hymore, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) earlier this year, by walking in her honor at the 2012 Walk to Defeat ALS Sunday, Oct. 7, at Flower Hospital in Sylvania. The Nana’s Flowers of Hope team will represent Hymore with a goal of more than 100 walkers.

“Diane is one of those people who is in one of the most challenging roles at the University, yet she lives and works every day with a smile and personality that invigorates everyone around her,” said Toni Blochowski, assistant to the chancellor for the academic health center and one of Hymore’s longtime friends. “Even in the face of ALS, she has continued working and served as an inspiration to those around her. Now we are looking to rally support for this important cause in her honor.”

John Adams, senior director for early outreach enrollment management and co-chair of Nana’s Flowers of Hope with Blochowski, said. “I first worked with Diane when I joined MCO in 2001. She was always willing to help and is an outstanding team player. I just want to give back to Diane for all she has done for me and the community by raising funds and awareness for ALS.”

“Diane is the kind of person who never puts herself first,” Jacobs said. “People across our campuses and the community work with her every day in person and virtually, and she is always a warm and wonderful ambassador of this University. I encourage everyone to not only show their support for Diane, but to also stand up against this terrible disease.”

Registration for the Walk to Defeat ALS begins at 11:30 a.m., with the event getting under way at 1 p.m.

For more information, contact Blochowski at 419.277.2523 or Adams at 419.461.0412. To learn more about ALS, go to Join the Nana’s Flowers of Hope team or make a contribution at

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