Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them. Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.
An estimated 20,000 people in the United States may be living with ALS. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis. Although there is no cure for ALS, with recent advances in research and improved medical care, many patients are living longer, more productive lives.
To continue Baseball's long-standing commitment to raising awareness of ALS, Major League Baseball launched a fundraising campaign in August 2017 to support The ALS Association's new ALS Home Health Initiative. The campaign was promoted across MLB ballparks and via MLB's media assets, including MLB.com, Club websites and MLB Network, as well as via YouCaring.com, the preferred crowdfunding platform of Major League Baseball.
Close to $200,000 was raised through fan, Club and MLB support for the ALS Home Health Initiative, which augments caregiver support through financial grants that may cover in-home care to individuals and families affected by Lou Gehrig's disease, enabling a person living with ALS to continue to reside in their home while having their care needs met. Baseball is committed to staying in the fight against ALS and raises awareness and funds for the cause through special fundraising efforts, Club activations in ballparks and in-kind media support.