Shonda and Curt have been active with the ALS Association since 1992. They founded the “Curt’s Pitch for ALS” program at around the same time, when Curt was playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. At that time, the Schillings were introduced to an ALS patient, Dick Bergeron. That meeting was the driving force behind their commitment to the fight against ALS. They even named their first son “Gehrig”, after the famous New York Yankee who died of ALS.
Afterwards, the Schillings expanded their program into Arizona, Massachusetts, and eventually all of New England.
I remember her visiting several New Hampshire communities in the middle of winter. It was just after a major snow storm. A crew of news organizations along with her entourage were all bundled up in North Face fleece jackets with the full compliment of North Face scarves, hats, and gloves. I thought at the time, we could be in a commercial for The North Face company! This was just at the time when The North Face brand hit the popular rise of wilderness chic awareness and the consciousness of loads of consumers. Everyone, it seemed, wanted a North Face fleece jacket. Tres chic! Anyway, their program’s goal was to raise awareness for ALS, using poignant graphic design and raise funds for ALS research and patient services.
Shonda, Curt Shilling’s wife serves on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia, Arizona and Massachusetts ALS chapters. She also represents the ALS Association at lobbying in Washington D.C. for government funding and before the Food and Drug Administration to help get the first trial ALS drugs approved.
Every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS . This means more than 5,600 people per year are diagnosed with ALS with as many as 30,000 in the US alone. ALS occurs throughout the world with no, ethnic, racial, or socioeconomic boundaries. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people. The ALS Association helps patients and families cope with the day to day challenges of living with ALS including providing information, resources, and referrals. For those men who were first diagnosed with ALS in their late 40′s and early 50′s having to deal with the symptoms of andropause or male menopause is quite miner in comparison. Nevertheless symptoms such as those below should be discussed with their doctor to see if there are some treatments that could alleviate some of them:
Physical exhaustion / Lacking vitality/ Feeling burnt out
Decrease in muscular strength
Decrease in sexual desire / Decrease in libido
Decrease in ability and frequency to perform sexually
Increased need for sleep / Sleep problems resulting in often feeling tired
Increase in Nervousness and / or Irritability
Joint pains and muscular aches
Feelings that you have passed your peak / Depressive moods
Of course a person’s ALS may be so overwhelming that andropause symptoms don’t even register.
ALS places financial burdens upon families. Occasionally if a medical emergency occurs, and the family has need for immediate cash they could consider payday cash loans as a short-term solution. Folks can apply for a payday loan that provides a loan of between $200-$1000 at a fixed rate. A payday loan is typically repaid within 2-4 weeks or when the next paycheck is deposited. Payday cash loans can be the life raft that saves the day when an unexpected emergency and there is no other way to pay for it. They should not be considered as an option for long term financial help. Receiving a diagnosis of ALS is challenging and overwhelming. An important purposes of The ALS Association is to help ALS patients and their families live as full and normal a life as possible
The ALS Association currently works with its network of freestanding support groups such as Curt’s Pitch for ALS, to expand the number of ALS chapters nationwide. Shonda and Curt Shilling encouraged his fan to participate in the Curt’s Pitch for ALS program by pledging their support “per strikeout”, as recorded on Curt’s performance statistics for the season. Incentive prizes were awarded to participants based on their level of giving.
Chapters Participating in Curt’s Pitch for ALS
Northern New England (NH, ME, VT): www.alsanne.org
Rhode Island: www.alsari.org
Although the original Curt’s Pitch for ALS program obviously ended with Sc hilling’s retirement from Major League Baseball, the Schillings continue their charitable work for ALS and other select causes. We are grateful to Curt and Shonda for their continuing generosity, kindness and commitment to ALS patients.