ALS, another one of those acronyms that fills our everyday language. The first time I ever heard it was back when they were doing those Ice Bucket challenges to help raise money for worthy causes. At that, though, it was my husband who filled me in on the history of the disease in regard to one of his all-time baseball heroes, Lou Gehrig.
WHAT IS ALS?
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis but became known as Lou Gehrig’s disease because the Yankee legend was diagnosed with it. It’s so ironic that the man who became known as “The Iron Horse” due to his awesome abilities as a hitter and for his durability on the field which led to a then Major League record of playing in 2,130 consecutive games which stood for 56-years was cut down in mid-stride by this disease. But seeing that ALS is a progressive degeneration of nerve cells that control muscle movements, at the beginning of the 1939 season Gehrig began losing his ability to perform. And just one month into the season, Gehrig voluntarily benched himself on May2, 1939, ending not only his 2,130 game playing streak, but his entire career. The following month, after extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic in Chicago, the diagnosis of ALS was confirmed on June 19, and two days later, Gehrig’s retirement was announced by the Yankees. It was just short of two-years later, June 2, 1941, that Gehrig died. His wife of 8-years, Eleanor, never remarried and was quoted as saying, “I had the best of it. I would not have traded two minutes of my life with that man for 40 years with another.” She dedicated the remainder of her life to supporting ALS research.
HOW WE CAN HELP
And that’s what I’m here to speak about, now: Helping to end this terrible disease. The easiest thing to do is go to ALS Therapy Development Institute Donation Page and give your heartfelt support. The goal this year is to raise $50,000. And up to $25,000 will be matched dollar for dollar by an unknown, but very generous donor. All of us can raise funds to help make ALS a thing of the past. It takes a village to get it done and we want you in our village to #EndALS.