Can you find five dollars?
Do you have $5?
It’s not that much money. The average person can probably find it laying around the house in spare change or loose bills, even if you’re not much of a cash person.
Or, in the next 7 days, I’d bet many of you will make at least one less than necessary trip to Sheetz, Starbucks, WaWa, or McDonald’s. If you can use some self-control and eliminate one of those trips, $5 is not hard to come by.
About nine months ago, after increasing mobility issues, and having spent months being bounced around a variety of doctors, my dad was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, sometimes more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
It’s been a wild ride over this last stretch of months, but a really hopeful and inspiring moment came in September, when, out of the blue, a friend from the church I grew up in messaged me on Facebook. He was running the 2016 Pittsburgh Half-Marathon as part of a team fundraising for the ALS Association, and he wanted to run specifically in honor of my dad. I was moved to tears.
When Jon and I first talked, his goal was $500. He has since surpassed that with over $550 in donations received and a new goal of $800. This is part of the Western PA Chapter of the ALS Association’s goal of raising $20,000 through the Pittsburgh Marathon, (which they’re over halfway toward reaching). The ALS Association will use that money to fund research into the disease which terrifying little is known about, even 77 years after the diagnosis of the man for whom it is colloquially named. They’ll use it to provide resources to the doctors and facilities who are treating ALS patients. They’ll use it to provide tangible support to ALS patients, and their caregivers and families. I cannot say enough about the virtues of the ALS Association and their mission.
$5 is not that much money. But every little bit helps. If each of my 857 Facebook friends could find it in their hearts and their pockets to give $5, we would raise over $4,000. To help Jon reach his goal, it would take only fifty, just over 5% of my social media connections.
It was during my internship that I met the first person I had ever known with ALS, a woman who sadly passed away just a month and a half before my dad’s own diagnosis. In the past 9 months, I’ve heard from all sorts of friends whose lives have been affected by ALS, and have lost friends and loved ones from the disease. And whether or not you have a personal connection to someone with ALS, I hope that hearing pieces of our stories, and hearing about the ways that the ALS Association is so helpful, might move you to do what you need to do to find that $5.
Donate to Jon’s Pittsburgh Half-Marathon fundraiser, here:
More info about how to #ChallengeALS