Motor Neuron Diseases

Lou Gehrig Day

Lou Gehrig Day was started on Wednesday June 2nd, 2021 to celebrate the life of Lou Gehrig and bring awareness to the motor neurone condition that he had called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The condition is most commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease after him.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called classical motor neuron disease, is a progressive, ultimately fatal disorder that eventually disrupts signals to all voluntary muscles.  In the United States, doctors use the terms motor neuron disease and ALS interchangeably.  Approximately 75 percent of patients with classic ALS will also develop weakness and wasting of the muscles that control speech, swallowing, and chewing.

 On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig delivered his famed "Luckiest Man" speech in front of a sold out crowd in Yankee Stadium. At this time Gehrig was called The pride of The Yankees for his many years as a baseball player with the New York Yankees. He had been diagnosed with ALS.

According to a release by Major League Baseball June 2nd was specifically chosen as the date for Lou Gehrig Day as it marks when Gehrig became the Yankees starting first baseman, thus cementing the start of his incredible streak of consecutive games played, as well as the day he passed from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 
The focus of Lou Gehrig Day will be on three pillars: 
(1) remembering the legacy of Gehrig and all those lost to the disease that bears his name; 
(2) raising awareness and funds for research of ALS and supporting the needs of the ALS Community; and 
(3) celebrating the groups and individuals who have led the pursuit for cures. This special occasion follows a campaign led by the “Lou Gehrig Day Committee, which is comprised of individuals, family and friends affected by ALS, as well as organizations leading the way on awareness and fundraising for the movement to end the disease.

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