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UK Gets ALS Funding

Contact: Jill Holder

 

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“When I was diagnosed with ALS, I met Cynthia Crispen, an ALS patient who actively raised funds for ALS research at UK. We saw what she was doing and decided the money Team 7 raised would go to help her reach her goal of $1 million.”

-- Kevin Heidrich,
Kevin Heidrich/Team 7 Endowment in ALS Patient Services Research

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August 12, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The Kevin Heidrich/Team 7 Endowment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Patient Services Research recently presented $75,000 to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine to fund ALS research. Edward J. Kasarskis, M.D., the Cynthia Shaw Crispen Endowed Chair for Research, professor, and vice chairperson of the Department of Neurology, UK College of Medicine, accepted on the college’s behalf.

Heidrich was diagnosed with ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 1998. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. In ALS, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. Patients in the later stages of the disease become totally paralyzed and often die.

After Heidrich’s diagnosis, his friends and family formed Team 7, named after the number “7” jersey Heidrich often sported in athletic events.

“When I was diagnosed with ALS, I met Cynthia Crispen, an ALS patient who actively raised funds for ALS research at UK. We saw what she was doing and decided the money Team 7 raised would go to help her reach her goal of $1 million,” Heidrich said.

After helping Crispen reach the $1 million mark, Team 7 created the Kevin Heidrich/Team 7 Endowment in ALS Patient Services Research. ALS patients need special services to help cope with the debilitating effects of the disease.

“If we had an ALS drug, we would still have patients who would need practical clinical research,” Kasarskis said.

For more information about ALS, call the ALS Association’s Kentucky chapter at (859) 281-4920. For more information about Team 7, go to the Web site.


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