Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Curt Broke Curses

A wonderful op-ed in the Boston Herald...

Schilling’s blessing a match for any curse
By Jan Delaney Wednesday, March 25, 2009 Op-Ed

Curt Schilling’s retirement has prompted many fans and columnists to write about his impact on the Red Sox [team stats]. How one man came to town with a promise to break a curse.I remember the commercials where Schilling was hitchhiking out of the desert on his way to Boston and then sitting in the clubhouse trying to perfect our verbal eccentricities like “pahk the cah.” He was great. He brought to town an attitude and so many of us jumped on his bandwagon.But there was one other thing that Schilling brought with him.

In 2004 my husband, the late Fran Delaney, was facing the challenge of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS had begun to ravage him a few years earlier and was getting worse each day.A lifelong Red Sox fan, my husband watched every game, his mood swinging with the ups and downs of his beloved team.Schilling brought magic to our lives. He had committed himself to the cause of raising money and awareness for research of this terrible disease. He and his wife backed up that effort with appearances at fundraisers, setting an example for other athletes on how to use their celebrity power for some greater good.Throughout the season, Fran watched Schilling. He loved the pitcher’s work ethic, his competitiveness, his commitment to winning.

Then the playoffs arrived and Schilling’s ankle was a problem. So what did Schilling do about this? Did he throw up his hands and let the job fall to others? Did he worry about his long-term health?Not Schilling. He had experimental surgery on his ankle, performed in the bowels of Fenway Park [map]. He went out and pitched an ace of a game and he highlighted his campaign against Lou Gehrig’s Disease by writing “K ALS” on his cleats, knowing that the national spotlight would shine directly on him.The Red Sox won the World Series and the curse was broken. Three years later, they won it again. This is the stuff of legends.Curt Schilling [stats]’s career on the field should bring him to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

His work off the field certainly qualifies him for the Humanity Hall of Fame.

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