For my undergraduate degree, I attended Columbia University. And while Columbia has had many famous alumni (including our current President), one of the most famous is the baseball player, Lou Gehrig. As you may know, Lou Gehrig contracted a disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) which forced his early retirement from baseball and, ultimately, caused his death. ALS, also now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord resulting in muscle weakness and atrophy. Most people with ALS die within 2-5 years of their diagnosis.
Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because I have a friend, a former co-worker of mine, who suffers from ALS. What makes her story so compelling is how unfair this disease is and how she has chosen to live life to the fullest while fighting this awful disease. My friend Eryn was 31 years old when she was diagnosed. Most people with ALS aren’t diagnosed until their 50′s which, to me, seems so unfair to Eryn and her family. Did I mention that Eryn has two beautiful children? Kai and Kate are so beautiful with incredible blue eyes and freckles on their noses – just like their mom.
And did I mention that Eryn was a swimmer? According to her swim coach at the University of Miami, Eryn was “a legend.” A conference champion in 1994. I didn’t know this until recently but as I see how she’s fighting ALS and working so hard to raise money to beat this terrible disease, I can see how she has the heart of a champion. She doesn’t like to lose.
There are so many worthy causes out there in there to support with time, treasure and talent. I have asked many of you in the past to support the YMCA and you have done so in a way that leaves me amazed and humbled. But today I ask you to consider making a donation to the ALS on behalf of my friend Eryn. Eryn’s goal is to raise $4,000 this month and she has raised $3,225 as I write this. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could help her beat her goal and, God willing, help her beat ALS?
Thank you for considering this request. Eryn deserves what we all have. A chance to raise her children and live a long and happy life.
To support ALS and Eryn (and see photos of her kids and hear from Eryn in her own words), go to Erin’s ALS fundraising page here.
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