WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Association today launched the ALS Home Health Initiative, a program to provide greater support for people living with amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) around the country. Major League Baseball is partnering with The ALS Association to raise $1 million for the initiative by launching the "MLB Fights ALS Campaign," starting with an initial $50,000 donation from the league.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population.
The funds raised for the ALS Home Health Initiative will go to help offset the high costs of home health care for some people living with ALS. The financial costs of ALS can be more than $250,000 per year, depending on the person's individual needs. The ALS Association will be distributing the funds raised via its chapter network and their new and existing care programs for people living with ALS.
"We are committed to providing greater support for those individuals living with ALS who face significant financial burdens because of this terrible disease," said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. "Time and again, we have heard from the members of the ALS community that high health care costs are the number one issue they would like us to address."
Major League Baseball is working with its 30 clubs to raise at least $1 million to support the initiative. From August 1 to August 5, MLB is giving anyone who makes at least a $50 donation to initiative via a YouCaring page the chance to win a pair of 2017 World Series tickets. The MLB Fights ALS campaign will run through the month of August.
The ALS Association thanks Major League Baseball and its member clubs for supporting the initiative.
"Major League Baseball is truly stepping up the plate with its 'MLB Fights ALS' campaign," said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. "We thank Commissioner Manfred and the 30 clubs around the league for their generous gift and their commitment to helping us provide greater care to people living with ALS. The league and the clubs have long been important partners to our own chapters around the country and together, we are all working to strikeout ALS."
The national home health initiative and the MLB campaign honor Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball player and Ice Bucket Challenge co-founder. The ALS Association is piloting a separate home health program in Massachusetts to cover the costs of care individuals living with ALS in Massachusetts. Even though the pilot program and the nationwide initiative both honor Pete Frates, they are separate and distinct programs.
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.
You can make a donation to the ALS Home Health Initiative here.
You can read MLB's press release here.
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SOURCE The ALS Association