ALS Ride for Life is launching its 20th annual ride and celebrating the anniversary with another event to raise awareness and funds to accelerate the discovery of a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Chris Pendergast founded Ride for Life in 1997 after being diagnosed with ALS in 1993. He wanted to take action against the fatal disease, so he started riding 10 days each May during ALS Awareness Month; he has done so for the past 19 years.
Initially, Pendergast made the 233-mile journey from Yankee Stadium in New York to Washington, D.C., in 10 days. In recent years, his wheelchair journey has taken place across Long Island and New York City.
Pendergast played an important role in raising awareness through the years, as well as raising $7 million for research, patient services and community support. He has been referred to as an inspiration to the community.
“I was blessed with a slow progression and lived well beyond the average prognosis of a few years. I spent this gift of time working to find a cure, helping patients and educating others about ALS. But I cannot do it alone, I need everyone’s help. Please make a donation or ‘buy a mile’ so I can get to Washington, D.C. and back home to my family!” Pendergast said in a press release.
The 2017 Ride for Life begins today (May 5) and will end May 14, in Washington, D.C. This year’s journey will be posted and updated frequently throughout the day on Ride for Life Facebook page.
Supporters can help Pendergast on his journey by buying his miles (one mile is $20) and help him fund his campaign and raise awareness for ALS. The goal is to raise $4,800. You also can participate on the journey and follow Pendergast along the route. Sharing the event with friends on your social media channels also is encouraged.