CALABASAS HILLS, Calif., May 9 /PRNewswire/ -- World Series co-MVP Curt
Schilling will be pitching for another team this spring -- The ALS Association
(ALSA). Schilling still will be on the mound for the World Champion Arizona
Diamondbacks, but he and his wife Shonda also will be teaming with ALSA to
raise awareness and dollars to help those living with the disease and those
searching for a cure. With fan support during Covering All the Bases with
ALSA weekend May 18-19, every home run hit will result in a contribution to
support the work of The ALS Association.
"Over the past eight years I've met many ALS patients and their families,"
Schilling said. "I've learned that ALS can strike anyone. The emotional and
physical toll is devastating to the whole family. By pledging financial
support for every home run hit during Covering All the Bases weekend, fans can
help The ALS Association find a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease and help provide
services for those battling ALS."
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease that attacks the
motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord. The life expectancy of an ALS
patient averages about two to five years. There is no known cure.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis struck Yankee Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig in 1939.
He died two years later.
Beginning this spring, fans can visit http://www.alsa.org to learn more
about ALS. While there, they may show their support for the organization by
making a financial pledge for every home run hit May 18-19 or purchase
Covering All the Bases gear. On average, Major League Baseball clubs
collectively hit 32 home runs a day when all teams are in action (or 64 home
runs each weekend). A 50 cent pledge per homer could result in a donation of
$32 during Covering All the Bases weekend. Funds raised will be used to
support ALS research and the activities of ALSA's local chapters nationwide.
The ALS Association is the only national organization to take a
comprehensive approach in its fight against ALS by providing funding for
research, patient services, education, and advocacy. The work is carried on
throughout the United States with the support of 34 local chapters.
"At any given time in the United States as many as 30,000 Americans are
battling ALS," explained Michael Havlicek, president of The ALS Association.
"ALSA is the only organization to cover all the bases in the fight against Lou
Gehrig's disease. We're fortunate to have the support of the Schillings,
along with baseball fans everywhere, to help us fund world class research and
support for patients and their families."
The Schillings are long-time supporters of ALSA, beginning in Philadelphia
in 1992. Schilling, then a pitcher for the Phillies, became aware of ALS
through the team's active support of ALSA's Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
"Shonda and I knew about Lou Gehrig's disease before I joined the Phillies,"
Schilling recalls, "but through my work with The ALS Association I met
patients and their families. That personal interaction compelled us to do
more." Over the past 10 years, the Schillings have helped raise more than
$3 million to aid ALS research and ALSA services.
Schilling was honored as the Phi Delta Theta's Lou Gehrig Award winner in
1996, presented annually to the major league player who best exemplifies the
giving character of the Hall of Famer and fraternity member Lou Gehrig. He
was the recipient of the 2001 Roberto Clemente and Branch Rickey Awards,
baseball's esteemed community service honors, in recognition for his work in
the fight against ALS. Schilling also was named the 2000 winner of the
Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Humanitarian Award for his work with
In November, The ALS Association named Shonda Schilling the 2001 recipient
of the Lawrence A. Rand prize for her commitment to the fight against ALS.
Shonda is an active member of the board of directors of both the ALSA Greater
Philadelphia and Arizona Chapters.
"As a pitcher, I never like to see baseballs leave the park," Schilling
said. "But during Covering All the Bases weekend, I know those home runs will
help ALSA continue its work to provide help and hope to those facing Lou
About ALS and The ALS Association
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's
disease, is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and
pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle
control and movement dies with them. Patients in the later stages of the
disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, the mind remains sharp and
Every year, 5,000 people are diagnosed with ALS. As many as
30,000 Americans currently are affected by ALS. The average life expectancy
of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis.
The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit voluntary health
organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS through research,
patient support, advocacy, and public awareness. The Association is the
largest source of funding for ALS-specific research. The Association and its
widespread network of volunteer-led chapters and support groups, along with
its certified ALS clinics, wage battle against the disease. For more
information about ALS and The ALS Association, visit http://www.alsa.org.
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SOURCE The ALS Association