Thursday, January 31, 2013

Brigance Brigade

As I mentioned when I set my goals for 2013 here, I wanted to expand on an idea my Dad had and our family implemented at Christmas this past year.  I decided to choose a different charity to donate to each month.  This month, I decided to donate money to Brigance Brigade. This wasn't my original plan, but after seeing first hand the inspiration that OJ is to so many people at AFC Championship, my decision was made.  What a first class guy.  Truly incredible story.

Headed to the field at AFC Championship.  Photo by Google Images.
For those of you that don't know, OJ Brigance began his pro football career with the CFL in 1991. He played in the CFL for five seasons eventually helping his team win the Grey Cup.  The following year, 1996, he signed with the Miami Dolphins where he played four NFL seasons.  In 1999, he was honored with the Ed Block Courage Award and was named the NFL Player Association's "Unsung Hero".  He played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. As a key member of their special teams unit, he led them to a Super Bowl XXXV victory.  He continued to play two more seasons with the St. Louis Rams before he retired.  He is currently the Senior Advisor to Player Development for the Baltimore Ravens serving as a motivator and inspiration to all.

Photo by Google Images

Photo by Google Images
Unfortunately, OJ Brigance was diagnosed with ALS in May 2007.  The disease is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.  It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.  Basically, your brain stops communicating with your body causing your body to slowly shut down completely.  It is truly tragic because there currently isn't any cure or preventitive measures that can be taken when the disease is diagnosed.  Hopefully, continued research will change these facts in the future.

Photo by Google Images.

OJ and his wife, Chanda.  Photo by Google Images.

Andrea :)

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