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Striking out ALS one pitch at a time

By Emily Iannaconi
Medill Reports

As the Boston College players perch on the top step of the dugout, their arms touch the red flag with a white ribbon that looks like a baseball and has the words “Strike Out ALS” inscribed in blue lettering. No matter where or when they play, the Eagles support and raise awareness for ALS, in honor of their very own Pete Frates who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. Frates inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge that swept the world for an eight week period in the summer of 2014 and has raised $115 million in the United States and $220 million globally for ALS research.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is known more popularly as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a neurodegenerative illness that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and causes a progressive degeneration of motor neurons, eventually leading to the demise of muscle function. When these motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost.

“Pete is the captain of a team that nobody wants to be on,” said Pete’s father, John Frates.

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