A recent event at the Aberdeen American Legion Post #128 united two local partners to raise awareness about ALS.
Justin Coulter, a member of the Aberdeen Volunteer Fire Company who is also a Marine, joined the Baltimore-based Brigance Brigade Foundation in hosting "ALS Dance for the Cure" on Nov. 17.
The Brigance Brigade Foundation supports ALS research, funds equipment for people suffering from the disease and offers other other resources for those with ALS.
It was cofounded by O.J. Brigance, who was a special teams player for the Ravens during its Super Bowl victory in 2001 and is now a senior adviser to the Ravens, with his wife after he was diagnosed with ALS in 2007.
In partnership with Coulter and the Ravens Roost #26, Brigance and his organization surpassed its goal of raising $5,000 through the Nov. 17 event in Aberdeen. "Dance for the Cure" cost $20 a ticket and included a silent auction, live music and buffets.
“This event...[expanded] our reach into the Aberdeen community [to] educate those unfamiliar with the disease,” Brigance said.
Coulter's father, a veteran who coached Pop Warner football, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in spring 2012. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurological disorder that causes muscle weakness and debilitation, and can result in death.
"People don’t know enough about this disease," said Coulter, "and I was one of those people until my dad’s diagnosis."