November's Charge for the Cure: ALS

CHARGE FOR A CURE - Join Today!
Last Game: 3
November Total: 9
Season Total: 9

PHILADELPHIA - You can help the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team in the fight against ALS. November is the first month in the program's five-month long Charge for a Cure initiative. November is dedicated to the ALS disease and all donations throughout the month will go towards the ALS Association of America.

The Penn women's basketball team began the Charge for a Cure to help raise awareness as well as funds. For complete information on Charge for the Cure and to participate in the initiative, click here.

About ALS
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," after the New York Yankees baseball player who was diagnosed with the disease in 1939. ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. These nerve cells, specifically motor neurons, control voluntary muscle movements throughout the body. The degeneration of the motor neurons results in a lack of muscle nourishment, which causes the muscle to waste away over time. This is what eventually leads to the patient's death.

ALS can affect anyone. Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The average life expectancy of an ALS patient is about two to five years from the time of diagnosis. Although, about twenty percent of people with ALS will live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years.

The ALS Association of America was established in 1985 and its stated mission is "To lead the fight to cure and treat ALS through global, cutting edge research, and to empower people with Lou Gehrig's Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support." 2010 marks the ALS Association of America's 25th anniversary in its fight against the disease.

For more information on ALS and the ALS Association of America visit www.alsa.org

Please join the women's basketball team as it looks to make a difference in the lives of the people that this disease affects every day. To join the team in Charge for a Cure, or for more information, contact assistant coach Kara Cassidy at karacass@upenn.edu.