Since the ice bucket challenge has subsided in popularity, how often have you thought about ALS? Most of us have the good fortune that we don’t personally have to deal with the disease and its debilitating side effects on a daily basis, but it doesn’t mean we should let it slip from our minds.
As Ravens Week continues on The Snap, we are proud to present a truly deserving charity on this week’s Charity Spotlight.
O.J. Brigance is a former CFL (Canadian Football League) and NFL linebacker. He currently serves as the Ravens Senior Adviser to Player Development.
O.J. was diagnosed with ALS in 2007.
I know that we include a lot of videos on our posts, but this is absolutely worth 6 minutes of your time because it captures O.J. better than I ever could in words.
WHO: O.J. and Chanda Brigance
CHARITY NAME: Brigance Brigade
CAUSES: The mission of the Brigance Brigade is to “equip, encourage and empower people living with ALS.” The foundation provides grants to individuals living with ALS – funds with which they can buy equipment such as wheelchairs, ramps for their home, communication devices, and other necessities that may place a financial burden on a family.
EVENTS: The foundation hosts an annual 5.7K family fun run in Maryland. (It’s 5.7 kilometers is in honor of Brigance’s jersey number.) Last year’s event raised over $110,000! For those of you that live in the Baltimore area, the next race will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015. If you aren’t a runner, there are volunteer opportunities associated with the race, as well.
Recently, the foundation celebrated O.J.’s 45th birthday with a Three Rings for O.J. event, which featured an extensive silent auction, live auction, and live music.
Additionally, the Brigance Brigade raised over $200,000 as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge this summer.
Other events the foundation has either sponsored or co-sponsored include a Zumbathon, a Benefit Concert, and an ALS Dance for a Cure event. A Spend the Day with O.J. contest was also recently held and winners, all people affected by ALS, were awarded with a Ravens facility tour and the chance to share their ALS stories with the team. Check out the foundation’s Facebook page and their website, both linked below, for pics from these events.
O.J. is definitely a busy man!
If you are interested in learning more about O.J.’s story, check out Strength of a Champion, which was published in 2013. Knowing that much of this book was written as a result of Brigance typing with his eyes is reason enough for me to add it to my reading list.
Want more insight into O.J.’s daily routine? Check out this 2013 interview from CBS.
If that doesn’t get you motivated on a Monday morning, I don’t know what will. It’s hard to believe that we hadn’t heard of O.J.’s story until recently, but I’m so glad that we did so that we were able to share it with you. What an awesome source of inspiration!