By now we’ve all seen videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge going around. There have been funny ones that didn’t go quite as planned, generous ones from celebrities and extremely heartfelt ones from people directly affected by ALS. No matter which route each video has gone, the trend has done something very important, and that’s to raise awareness and funds for a rare debilitating disease that approximately 30,000 people in America live with.
To get a better idea of how serious this disease is, Anthony Carbajal, 26, from California has been affected by ALS his entire life and gives the most honest point of view possible.
In honor of all those who’ve been dunked in ice cold water the past few weeks and all those currently affected by this disease, we pay tribute to the man whose diagnosis in 1939 brought ALS into the public eye – Lou Gehrig.
Eventually known as “The Iron Horse,” because of his incredible streak of 2,130 consecutive games played over 14 years, Henry Louis Gehrig was a New Yorker through and through. He was born and raised in the Big Apple, played college ball at Columbia University and eventually became one of the all-time greats while playing his entire career with the New York Yankees.
Gehrig made his debut for the Bronx Bombers when he was just 20 years old in 1923. Over the next 17 seasons he put together one of the greatest careers in Major League history.
He was a member of “Murderers’ Row.” That’s right, the Yankee lineups during the ’26, ’27 and ’28 seasons were so terrifying to opposing pitchers that media back in those days felt the only thing comparable was homicide. Granted, those teams did have Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig batting back-to-back…
Overall, Lou was a fan favorite in New York and across the league. He was a two-time American League MVP, 1934 Triple Crown winner, six-time World Champion and seven-time All-Star.
He officially retired on June 21, 1939, two days after receiving the diagnosis of ALS. The Yankees honored him on July 4th that year with a day of appreciation, and his number “4” became the first number ever retired in the Major Leagues. On that day of appreciation, he accepted gifts from many close to him and gave his “luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech in front of more than 60,000 somber Yankee fans.
Henry Louis Gehrig died less than two years later on June 2, 1941 after a tough battle with the disease that to this day has no known cure. In honor of “The Iron Horse” and the many others whose lives have been affected by ALS, we encourage you to take a second and donate. Every little bit helps, in fact this Friday we will be donating 50% of our sales to help fight ALS. So if you haven't yet donated, let us do it for you! Purchase a t-shirt from our shop and we will send half of that sale to alsa.org. Follow us on twitter using the hashtag #Donate50 and lets continue the awareness this wonderful campaign has brought to this terrible disease.