June is looming and I’m reminded that June 2 is Lou Gehrig Day.
Lou was a star first base player for the New York Yankees who, in 1939, stood in front of 62,000 fans and delivered one of the most poignant speeches in the history of sports. He talked about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS – the rapidly progressive neuro-degenerative disease that affects the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles and a condition that Gehrig himself had been diagnosed with. It came to be known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
“For the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got,” he said. “Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” He held back tears as he addressed the crowd at Yankee Stadium after being forced to retire from baseball two weeks prior due to his fatal diagnosis of ALS. Lou Gehrig died two years later, days short of his 38th birthday. Today, he remains an inspiration and is a source of strength, humility and courage to many people and their families facing the devastation of an ALS diagnosis.
Every year, Major League Baseball recognizes June 2 as Lou Gehrig Day. There is still no cure – but there are more therapies than ever in the pipeline and organizations that provide services and support, fund research, and advocate for change to the status quo.
This is the last time I’ll be asking this year, but I would be really pleased if you would join me on June 2 in showing your financial support for the Canadian and American teams getting ever closer to finding a cure for ALS. I donate to both, but feel free to choose one or the other if you wish. Here are the links: