Major League Baseball recently designated June 2 this year and moving forward will be known across the league as Lou Gehrig Day. The announcement is an opportunity to honor the legacy of the Hall of Fame first baseman and a bold step in the movement to end amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, I’m thrilled by the league’s endorsement of an annual occasion to celebrate those impacted by ALS and the accompanying commitment to raise awareness and funds for much needed treatments and cures.
For individuals living with ALS, every day is a matter of life and death. Today, ALS is always fatal and people living with the disease typically die within 2-5 years of their diagnosis. Research shows that ALS diagnoses are expected to rise by 69 percent by 2040, and, sadly, ALS will affect 1 in 300 people in our lifetimes.
Gehrig’s life and courage continue to be both an inspiration and a reminder of what those impacted by ALS still face. The designation of a league-wide Lou Gehrig Day in baseball is the result of tireless efforts by ALS patients, caregivers and loved ones. Thank you, Baltimore Orioles, for your ongoing support to the ALS community and for officially signing on to help champion a cure for this uniquely challenging neurodegenerative disease.