The Fight Against ALS

Photo Credit to iStock

I am an enormous fan of those who use their celebrity or semi-celebrity status to give back to their community, state, nation, or the world.  I read a story on ESPN a couple of days ago, and I instantly knew I had to blog about it.

Even those who follow professional baseball somewhat closely have probably never heard of Stephen Piscotty.  He is not famous for crushing home runs, stealing bases, or striking out opposing batters.  Piscotty plays right-field for the Oakland A’s, but that’s not why I had to write this article.

Even if you have absolutely no interest in sports, I think it will be hard for you not to shed a tear after reading about Piscotty.  In 2017, Piscotty was playing for the St. Louis Cardinals when he learned that his mother, living in California, was diagnosed with ALS. 

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.  It weakens muscles as nerve cells break down.  Early symptoms of the disease include muscle cramps, muscles twitches, muscle weakness, slurred speech, and difficulty chewing or swallowing.  It eventually leads to death.  As of now, there is no known cure.  The average survival time for people with ALS is 3-5 years, but others have lived ten or more years with this condition.

Piscotty wanted to be closer to his mother to offer whatever support he could while still playing baseball.  Sports is big business, and it was noteworthy when the St. Louis Cardinals traded Piscotty to the Oakland A’s to allow this to happen.  As a result, Piscotty could spend time with and support his mom, Gretchen, who later passed in 2018.  What Piscotty has done since is substantial, but first, I need to go back in time.

The real story of the fight against ALS happened back in 2014 when Pete Frates and Pat Quinn started the Ice Bucket Challenge. Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball star, was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 at 27.  I came across this video about Pete Frates’s story.  Please don’t be put off by its length.  It’s over 13 minutes but well worth it.  I would suggest having some tissue nearby.

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2013, a month after his 30th birthday. He also was an athlete, playing rugby in college, but became more famous for his activism with ALS. After seeing the ice bucket challenge on social media, Pat knew it was an avenue to raise ALS awareness.  Together Pete and Pat helped raise millions of dollars for research, and equally important, awareness of this debilitating disease.  As a result, both Frates and Quinn were nominated for Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.   

For those unfamiliar with the Ice Bucket Challenge, it was a relatively simple concept.  The idea was that participants were to get filmed dumping a bucket of ice water onto their heads and then nominate others to do the same.  One of the accepted protocols was that each nominee had 24 hours to meet the challenge or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation for ALS research.  As part of the process, the participant nominated three other people to meet the challenge.  It went viral in the summer of 2014, and when famous sports figures and other celebrities got involved, the movement grew exponentially.

I first became aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge when our son took part in college back in 2014.  He went on to nominate three others, including his high school football coach. 

Our son taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014.

Were there plenty of skeptics?  Absolutely.  “Dump a bunch of ice water on your head?  How is that supposed to help?”  But it did help.  More than 17 million people posted videos online, including Bill Gates, former President George W. Bush, Justin Bieber, LeBron James, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, and numerous other well-known personalities.  As a result, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised $115 million for the ALS Association and over $220 million worldwide for ALS research.  The video below shows the impact that these dollars are having.

Sadly, Pete Frates died at the age of 34 in December of 2019, while Pat Quinn passed in November of 2020 at the age of 37.  However, their efforts have made a tremendous difference.  Progress in the fight against ALS is happening, and these courageous men helped raise awareness of this deadly disease.

After Stephen Piscotty’s mom passed, he continued to use his status as a professional athlete to help raise money and bring joy to others.  When baseball resumed last year during Covid, many teams responded by putting cardboard cutouts of fans in the seats. Unfortunately, no spectators could attend the games.  I admit that I thought it was rather corny at the time to see these cutouts, and I wondered why they were there. However, Piscotty and the A’s found a way to use these cardboard creations in creative ways.  Baseball fans quickly snatched up all of the seats in sections 106-108 (an area close to Piscotty in right-field).  By purchasing these seats, they could have a cardboard replica of themselves at the game. Most of the money from the purchase of the seats went to the ALS foundation.  When a baseball struck a cutout, Piscotty signed the baseball and made sure the ball ended up in the fan’s possession.  Here is the story ESPN did on Piscotty and Brian Mulhern, a former usher with the A’s who has ALS:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/31739206/the-inspiring-story-oakland-outfielder-stephen-piscotty-cardboard-cutout-fan-living-als

Even though I’m a huge sports fan, I don’t watch much baseball, but I know that I will root for Stephen Piscotty and the A’s after seeing the video and reading the story about him.  Celebrities and athletes need to understand how much impact they can make when they use their voices. People will not remember others because they own mansions and a host of fancy automobiles, but they will remember your character.  That’s the way I’m going to remember Pete Frates, Pat Quinn, and Steven Piscotty—men of character.   

 

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104 thoughts on “The Fight Against ALS

  1. Thanks for sharing this…the more awareness brought to a terrible disease like this, the more money can be raised to speed up finding a cure – or at least a treatment that will help those who suffer from it….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 11:35 am

    I’m encouraged by the things I’m reading about the medical field’s progress in battling this terrible disease. I appreciate your comments, John.

    Like

  3. How inspiring! Like you, I have so much respect for people who use their status for good. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 4:58 pm

      I can think of quite a few celebrities who have used their unique positions to contribute something good to society. When people act in altruistic ways, it impacts others to take action.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. great story, and so well told, Pete. Loved the video of Frates and of your son participating.

    The ICE Bucket Challenge was such a success, and you have to admire Frates and Quinn for what they have done to raise awareness and money for ALS.

    I was not familiar with the Piscotty story, but that is quite moving as well.

    I also love when celebrities take advantage of their status to do good things…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:02 pm

      It is remarkably inspiring when someone who knows they will pass in a few years thinks of the greater good and responds by taking a leadership role.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. especially someone so young…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My friend died very young of a similar condition. Yes, its’ true – we remember their characters and how they made us feel. When I think of my younger self, all excited because Jimmy Savile was coming to our school to give speech day prizes back around 1974, I now want to cringe at the thought of him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:07 pm

      I have to admit I had to Google Jimmy Savile to see his story as I had never heard of him before. It truly is despicable when someone uses their status to gain trust only for their criminal interests.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Everyone thought he was so wonderful with all his charity work. Another one with feet of clay.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 8:01 am

        It seems more devastating when it involves someone who is supposed to be setting a good example, like a minister or a judge.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Super post, Pete. ALS is a worthy cause for anyone to support.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:09 pm

      From what I’ve read, the medical field is making a lot of progress in wiping out this dreaded disease. I would like to see it eradicated in my lifetime.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Well written and compelling Pete! This was a moving and intensely emotional piece. Your words speak the great truth of what it means to be a person of character.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:15 pm

      As much as I love sports, it’s hard to fathom that someone should be paid astronomical sums to play a game. While many have made their share of sacrifices to get to that level, it’s refreshing to know that many give back to their communities. I commend the Cardinals and A’s for making a trade so that Piscotty could be with his mom in her final months.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank goodness that no matter how large a business may be, it is still run by people who can have a little heart.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. And, of course Lou Gehrig was a baseball played Every year the MLB fundraises for the cause and honours him. The Lou Gehrig Memorial Award is given annually to the MLB player who best exhibits Gehrig’s integrity and character.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:18 pm

      I have seen that Lou Gehrig speech where he says, “Today I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the Earth,” but I had never considered he was unable to hold up the awards bestowed upon him because he didn’t have the strength to hold them.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. This is a horrible disease and thank you for sharing this. I’m hopeful that one day we will beat this beast

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:20 pm

      I read a stat where the odds are something like 1 in 50,000 of getting ALS. Can you imagine getting this news about one of your children?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. it would be devastating

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful people, Pete, and you told their story beautifully.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:22 pm

      I was struck by how quickly Frates’s speech had declined in such a short time. What a hard thing for any person or their loved ones to have to go through!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So I noticed. It happens like that with dementia, too. I watched my Mum go through it and wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I remember the ice bucket challenge. It good to learn that it raised so much money to help people living with ALS. I hope research will develop a cure for this cruel disease.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:25 pm

      Social media gets a bad rap, sometimes deservedly so, but that is one instance where a remarkable amount of good was done in a couple of months because of social media’s ability to get the information out there quickly.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know just what you mean. About ten years ago, I taught a course that asked college students to explore how their intended professions used social media. One of the students who was studying to be an advocate for children in the foster care system was very surprised to find just how much advocacy organizations used social media to advance their causes through raising awareness and money–as was I.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 7:02 pm

        I would be interested in seeing the data to learn how much a given profession uses social media. I would think it would continue to grow in the years to come.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Pew Research might have it. I expect that you’re right about the use of social media continuing to grow in the professions.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. What an inspiring story of courage and honour. Thank you for sharing their stories and using your voice on your platform to do so. You’re right, we each can do what we can to help to cause (big or small). I love that you highlighted this in your post today!

    I’m privileged in that I don’t have direct experience with a loved one who had to endure a terrible disease so I have so much compassion for those that had to find their strength through the worst. ❤️🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:28 pm

      I don’t have much of a platform, but I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t draw more attention to this disease. I posted the ESPN article the other day on Facebook, and it did not get one like. I didn’t get discouraged because Facebook seems to thrive more on photos than on stories. I knew it would be easier to reach more people on my blog.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Sharing is caring… Thanks for sharing these inspirational stories, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 7, 2021 — 5:50 pm

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Bette. If my article brings attention to ALS to even one person, I will feel that I have made a small contribution.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Thanks for sharing this story. While I knew about the ice bucket challenge that its purpose – I didn’t know about the origins of how it began. Really beautiful to know the legacy you leave behind can have an ever lasting impact. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 10:58 am

      I think it must be a symptom of getting older, but I often ask myself, “What are you doing to create positive change?” I think we have a shared responsibility to look out for one another.

      Like

  15. I remember my daughter’s friends took parts in the ice bucket challenge, Pete.

    My next door neighbor’s whole family was our dear friends. The wife worked part time as a dental hygienist in her 80’s. She was healthy and sociable in the whole neighborhood. Out of a sudden, she started having pain on her neck and never got up. Her degeneration was quick. She didn’t last for two years. In her last days, her son, my husband’s best friend got her a device to detect her eye movement as limited communication. She had 24/7 in-home care. I was in the house the day she passed. The cats tasker only left the room for a few seconds. When she returned to the room, my friend died.

    Watching her degeneration day by day was hard. It felt so helpless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 11:02 am

      I don’t know of anyone personally who has suffered from ALS, but this story just struck a chord with me as I couldn’t help but think, what if this was my child who suddenly got sick in the prime of his life? So sorry to hear about your friend. It must have been devastating for your husband’s best friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The more sad news was that, after Randy cared for his mom, he died from mountain bike accident. They left no direct line of descendent.

        Like

      2. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 4:31 pm

        How sad! I think you may have told me that another time. How did your husband do with all that? I’ve lost loved ones, but I can’t think of a time when one of my closest friends passed.

        Like

      3. He cried and grived for a long time. He is a private person but Randy light spirit eased a lot of his tension. Without Randy, he didn’t cope too well for a while. It’s been six years. He’s doing better.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Pete, there are so many awful diseases people can get. I can remember when I used to be in the hospital so much with one or other of my boys and I saw other children with much worse conditions and I would be grateful that my children’s conditions are relatively manageable. I have not heard of this Ice Bucket Challenge before but it sounds like a wonderful initiative.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 11:04 am

      The thing about life is it can be so fragile. We can live a healthy lifestyle and do everything right and still be struck down by some genetic predisposition or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is exactly right, Pete. My dad’s current illness is a good example of that. It’s genetic.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 8:43 am

        I sure wish him the best, Robbie. I know it’s hard to think of anything else when we see one of our loved ones not doing well.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. He is doing better today, Pete. I can’t imagine how hard it is for people who have an incurable disease, but these men have certainly done amazing things.

        Liked by 2 people

  17. I didn’t know ALS ended lives so quickly. My daughter has an orphan disease so I well know the trauma and difficulty of finding treatments. Kudos to these ballplayers for their creative efforts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 10:55 am

      I think it would be doubly hard to see a loved one who seems to be in the prime of their life so quickly debilitated. It’s bad enough that the cost of medical treatment is so outrageous. Parents shouldn’t have to jump through a million hoops to get their children the help they need.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting in my daughters case, we talked to many experts, heard their expensive suggestions, and the best option–and the one that worked–was the cheapest. Score one for us!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for doing your part in posting/writing a touching and informative article about this. You do have a gift for advocating for causes and people in a unique and personal way – you’re making a difference, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 11:08 am

      I appreciate your kind words, Laura. I just wish there was more I could do than just write some heartfelt words. Can you imagine how any parent would feel in this situation, watching a loved one so quickly deteriorate?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. It seems that everyone in my family and my friends and their families “played” the Ice Bucket challenge. It was a brilliant fundraiser for ALS, a horrid and horrifying disease. Thanks for telling us about Piscotty. Three cheers to him and other celebrities who use their names for good.
    I recently read a book by Lisa Genova (of Still Alice fame, fiction focused on Alzheimer’s) on ALS, again fiction, called Every Note Played. It was so well done and showed the progression of ALS and how it affects not just the patient, but the entire family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 4:35 pm

      I’ll have to look into that one, Pamela. I don’t know of anyone personally who has had ALS. I read a stat that it occurs in 1 in 5,000 people, but I’ve watched others who lost a loved one from other progressive diseases.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This a wonderfully well-told story, Pete. All of the people you mention are inspirations. I’d heard of Piscotty but was unaware of his involvement in the fight against ALS. The ice bucket challenge was a brilliant idea. Maybe they should do it again or something similar. Coming down with a degenerative disease like ALS and MS is one of my big fears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 8, 2021 — 4:38 pm

      Losing our independence is awfully hard to accept. I vow to stay active with my mind and body. It feels so good to be back at the gym.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Getting back to the gym is something I need to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor July 10, 2021 — 7:08 pm

        You’re a lot more fit than me. I notice I’m not the one huffing and puffing when I walk with my friends anymore. That feels pretty great.

        Like

  21. The Ice Bucket challenge was an amazing fundraiser that just went magically viral. I think that’s pretty rare and brilliant. With one simple idea, Quinn and Frates changed the course of ALS research. They are heroes. And you are correct, I had not heard of Piscotty, but I LOVE the idea of charging for a cut-out and have the proceeds go towards ALS. Your post is very inspirational Pete – we all have it in us to do something good for others. It’s just tapping into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 8:47 am

      You may not be famous, but I have certainly found inspiration in your posts, Melanie. The power of positive thinking and taking things on head-on can’t be undersold. So fantastic to see you doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you Pete, what a nice thing to say and a meaningful reminder that what you put out there is seen by people!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. ALS is devastating, Pete. I worked with one ALS patient as a counselor and most of our work was writing letters that she wanted read after her death, especially to her grandchildren who were still babies. It was slow work and so heartbreaking. Thank goodness for those who raise money for research to end this horrible illness, the sports stars, Presidents, and ordinary citizens. A touching post, my friend. I’m now a Piscotty fan too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 2:41 pm

      Wow! I’m imagining myself listening to someone who knows they’re going to die and is thinking of her grandkids. What a remarkable woman she must have been! I imagine that’s an experience you’ll never forget.

      I think the lesson for me is that ordinary citizens can make a difference in the fight against ALS. I didn’t include this in my article as I already had so many videos but check out Piscotty’s first at-bat after his mom passed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGuLOpB83Oc

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for sharing that, Pete. So touching.
        I worked in hospice, where I met some of the most courageous and loving people I’ve ever know. She and I never finished all the letters, but we got a few done before she died.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you for the tissue alert! Those of us close to Boston are very aware of Pete Frates (Boston College baseball) and the ice bucket challenge. This has been the most significant event to bring awareness to ALS. When a sports personality or a big name starts an event, the exposure and awareness and money for ALS multiply. I didn’t know about Piscotty. Just wonderful!! We need to hear about more good people doing good things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 2:48 pm

      Lots of junk goes viral, but this is an example of something that took off because of social media. Isn’t it great when athletes and celebrities use their platform in such positive ways? You are always conscious of that in your classroom experiences, Jennie. You’re so great to try and include well-known people in your lessons with your students.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love when goodness goes viral, especially with well-known people. Thank you, Pete. If I see a brass ring at school, I try to grab it for the children. Sometimes it’s a famous person. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you to Stephen Piscotty and the A’s for all they are doing to raise awareness and money in the fight against ALS. While I haven’t known anyone personally with this disease, I know enough about it to want to support the fight. Sharing this one now on Twitter. I am so glad you brought it to my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 2:50 pm

      I appreciate that, Christy. I also don’t know anyone personally, but any parent can relate to the hopeless feeling when you want to help your child, but you don’t know how.

      Like

  25. A very inspiring story, Pete! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 2:53 pm

      Even though I’m not part of your group (We Are the World Blogfest?) yet, I actually thought this would be a good article to share in that group. Thanks for reading, John.

      Like

  26. Pete, This is an important and moving story. I became familiar with Sue Rodriguez in the early 1990’s who was diagnosed with ALS. She also became known as a Canadian right to die activist. Friends of mine did the Ice Bucket Challenge. Like you point out, awareness and the impact of dollars raised. Wow, I was not aware about the cardboard cutouts and a form of raising money. I wholeheartedly agree, “men of character.” Thank you for sharing an excellent feel good post and the awareness of a challenging illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 4:58 pm

      I was unfamiliar with Sue Rodriguez until you mentioned her, Erica, so I Googled her. I wonder if assisted suicide will become legalized in our lifetime.

      Possessions come and go, but no one can take away our character. Thanks for your always supportive comments on my posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you for sharing this Pete. Pete Frates lived in the town next to me which somehow made his story even more personal. Our library staff all took part in the ice bucket challenge, and while that was a nasty experience, it was also rewarding, knowing that we were all doing something, even small, to try to eradicate this horrible disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 9, 2021 — 7:59 pm

      It’s great when people work together to accomplish something important. Thanks for your contribution, Kim. These things are often more fun when they’re done as part of a team like your library staff.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Thanks for this marvelous, positive post, Pete. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 11, 2021 — 12:59 pm

      I’ve heard some of the oldtimers talk about a disease being wiped out in their lifetime. I hope I’m around to see that happen with ALS.

      Like

  29. Pete, an incredible story and so fabulous to see your courageous son taking the challenge! Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 12, 2021 — 8:39 am

      I find it fascinating to see how these things take off and seem to develop a life of their own.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. A very moving post, Pete. What a terrible disease ALS is. I had seen something about the ice bucket challenge before but wasn’t aware of what it was about. Thank you for bringing both these issues to my notice. It is true that character is more important than wealth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 12, 2021 — 8:44 am

      Kids aren’t supposed to die before their parents. It’s one thing to watch an elderly person who has lived a full life slowly slip away but to see young people in their primes quickly lose their ability to walk and talk is heartbreaking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It definitely is. We’ve lost a few younger people from our family (siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins). One family lost a son aged 60 last year. The father passed away this week aged 96. We are not guaranteed of any slice of time.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. This is such a wicked disease, Pete and these young men deserve your admiration…I follow a lady on here..Lisa..she has ALS and her home is a hospital… most of the time she is a happy, funny lady even when she is desperately ill with a virus or infection she also loves ice cream which is all she can eat…at the moment visitors are not allowed because of covid and haven’t been allowed for over a year but she still keeps smiling most of the time she is upbeat…I am also a huge admirer of the late Stephen Hawking who also had ALS it didn’t dim his brain though…I do hope some breakthroughs are made quickly but it also shows the remarkable fortitude people have whatever life throws at them and it humbles me…x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 14, 2021 — 8:40 pm

      I’m glad that you mentioned Hawking as I was going to include him in my article. I am so sorry to hear about Lisa. Life is not fair sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A great example of fortitude if I could choose my dinners guests from the living and the dead he would be my first I am currently reading one of his books…Yes, Lisa is one brave lady she hasn’t blogged for a while as she has to have specialist equipment and that comes with its problems but she remains upbeat…I keep in touch by email at the moment as I admire her greatly on so many levels she makes me raise how lucky we all are xx

        Liked by 1 person

  32. I love your inspirational tribute posts Pete. They are always so moving. As you can well imagine, there is no way I could watch the video at this time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 14, 2021 — 8:41 pm

      Understood, my friend. Sending hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. An amazing post Pete and thank you for sharing.. the video showing the impact on local services just shows what can be achieved if the funds are available. So many times we see millions being wasted on non-essential and non life changing ‘stuff’ and this shows the power of the people rather than governments. ALS is horrendous and apart from the care and equipment, making headway with the research is paramount… x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 17, 2021 — 5:11 pm

      Thanks so much for your comments, Sally. I hadn’t planned on writing this article, but after reading the sports article, I was quite moved and wanted to do so. I do love the freedom to write about whatever moves me. It’s a good lesson for us writers to see the power of social media, especially when celebrities get involved. The things I’ve been reading about ALS research are encouraging. I’m on a bit of a blogging break right now, but then I’ll have three blogging posts in a short amount of time.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Enjoy your break Pete.. and look forward to the posts..x

        Liked by 1 person

  34. What an incredible post, Pete. Thank you! One of my friends suffers from this disease, and her journey has been and is heroic. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor July 19, 2021 — 6:51 pm

      I remembered all of the attention to the Ice Bucket Challenge at the time, but it’s nice to know that the medical field continues to make progress in fighting this horrible disease. It must be incredibly frustrating and hard for a family to watch one of their loved ones decline rapidly. Thanks for your comments, Gwen. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 19, 2021 — 10:31 pm

      Thanks for the reblog, Michael. I admire the courage of these young men who understood they were dying and wanted to make others aware of this terrible disease. I would love to see this wiped out during my lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true, Pete! Thats real humanism. Lets hope they will find a medicine or a therapy against ALS. Its really horrible. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  35. Thank you for the inspirational information, Pete! Yes, so many celebrities could do good things, only with their presence. Piscotty is doing a wonderful work. Have a beautiful week! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 19, 2021 — 10:36 pm

      Sports is such big business in America that I was impressed that the two teams worked out a trade so that Piscotty could spend quality time with his mom in her last year of life. It’s nine to see that there are some things worth more than money. You have a great week as well, Michael.

      Like

  36. This is such a moving piece, Pete. I hadn’t heard of ALS but am familiar with MND and I understand that ALS is one of the forms of it. I can’t imagine a more horrific disease than one that leaves the mind able to function whilst the rest of the body fails.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor July 21, 2021 — 12:02 pm

      It’s tragic to think that one’s children die before the parents. Yes, conditions that progress so rapidly, like ALS, must be hard for the victim and the family. I can’t help but think of their wives and children growing up without a father.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. I have great respect for those who are thrust into the celebrity life and use their name, their status for the good of the community. So many just concentrate on getting all the trappings they think are expected of them. I’m glad I now know the origins of the ice bucket challenge and of the tremendous good it does. Thank you for highlighting their story and for ensuring the continued spread of support for such a terrible illness.
    Hugs

    Like

    1. petespringerauthor July 31, 2021 — 7:00 pm

      Many celebrities seem to understand that they have the ability to move mountains when they get behind projects like this. One of the first things I look at with famous people is if they attempt to use their talent to give back to their communities. It is both a privilege and a responsibility. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I don’t know anyone personally who has ALS, but everything I’ve read suggests this is one disease we’re eventually going to beat.

      Like

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