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Jenica Lancy, Director of Communications
The ALS Association Golden West Chapter
(415)-967-2572 (ALSA)

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Summertime marks the annual celebration of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig’s legendary farewell speech to baseball

June 2, 2017

It was on July 4, 1939 that Major League Baseball legend Lou Gehrig stood before his loyal fans at Yankee Stadium and declared himself to be, “The luckiest man on the face of the earth.” It was on that day that so many Americans first became aware of a disease that few had heard of before – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – which would thereafter be known to millions as Lou Gehrig’s Disease in remembrance.

Since Lou Gehrig’s death, less than two years after that famous farewell speech, the quest to find a cure for ALS has frustrated medical researchers.  However, scientists have been making valuable new discoveries which are bringing them closer than ever before to their goal of treating and curing ALS.

“For decades, progress was painstakingly slow and left people with little hope for a cure,” said Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., Chief Scientist for The ALS Association. “Now, our understanding of ALS is moving rapidly in a very positive direction which makes us more hopeful than ever that we will win this fight against ALS.”

The ALS Association, since it was formed in 1985, has been on the forefront of research into ALS and is committed to search for effective treatments and a cure for ALS. “Every day, we are gaining a better understanding of how ALS attacks motor neurons and slowly steals the body’s ability to function,” said Fred Fisher, President and CEO, The ALS Association Golden West Chapter.

The baseball community continues to remember Lou Gehrig and sponsors numerous events every July to spread awareness about ALS to thousands of fans.  This year, you can celebrate LouGehrig's legacy and help fight ALS at one of these fun events:

  • June 28, San Francisco, CA: Join us for the 8th annual ALS Awareness Day with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.  There will be a special home plate ceremony and scoreboard presentation before the game against the Colorado Rockies.

  • July 4, Fresno, CA:  Fresno Grizzlies will hold the 7th Annual Strike Out Lou Gehrig’s Disease ALS Awareness Day. The Fresno Grizzlies will host a special evening to honor the 78th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech to baseball before they battle against the Salt Lake Bees.  Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and give out information about The ALS Association Golden West Chapter and the National ALS Registry.

  • July 5, Los Angeles, CA: There will be an ALS Awareness Day with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium.  There will be a special home plate ceremony and scoreboard presentation before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

  • August 13, Oakland, CA:  Our  7th annual ALS Awareness Day with the Oakland A’s.  As the Oakland A’s face the Baltimore Orioles, attendees will have the opportunity to bid on special Major League Baseball memorabilia at a silent auction, with proceeds to benefit The ALS Association Golden West Chapter.

About ALS

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. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration modestly extends survival.

About The ALS Association and The Golden West Chapter

The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.  The Association is a member of the National Health Council and the only national organization solely dedicated to fighting ALS on all fronts while directly serving the ALS community. 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. The Golden West Chapter serves people with ALS and their families in 31 counties throughout California and in the state of Hawaii.  For more information about The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, please visit us at or email us at

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