As Ottawa police officer Brian Dyck struggles with the neurodegenerative disease ALS, he will have some financial help courtesy of a fundraiser held at Ottawa's city hall Friday night. More than $50,000 was raised to help he and his wife.

"You take it day by day, and enjoy the moments that are left, and cherish the loved ones that are with you," Dyck said.

One of the items up for bid was a private dinner with Ottawa police Chief Vern White, Gen Rick Hillier and Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien, at the mayor's home.

Also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a fatal illness that usually occurs in middle age.

It was first isolated in 1869 and later made famous by New York Yankees baseball player Gehrig, who had the longest consecutive streak of games at the time he was diagnosed.

Gehrig retired in 1939 as paralysis set in, clocking 2,130 consecutive games. He died in 1941.

Around eighty per cent of those diagnosed will die within two to five years, according to the ALS Society of Canada.

The disease is not contagious and in most cases, there is no known cause. Around 2,500 to 3,000 Canadians have the illness -- the most common neurological cause of death in the country.