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Phi Delta Theta walks to beat Gehrig’s disease

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About 45 fraternity members and friends showed up for Phi Delta Theta’s Walk to D’Feet ALS on campus Saturday.

The fraternity raised roughly $850 toward their philanthropic cause, the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerois, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“We had a couple of months to prepare,” said Steven Lane, a Phi Delta Theta member and event organizer.

“We got all the dirty work done early,” he added.

The walk started around 10 a.m. from the Rock and went around B Street to Arrow Highway, to D Street, to 3rd Street, and ended up back at the Rock.

For a donation of $20 or more, walkers were offered a special shirt made for the event.

University of La Verne alumnus Brian Ortega, a member of the fraternity, provided music as walkers passed the Rock.

“I think the Greeks have done a good job at modeling service and philanthropy,” said ULV president Stephen Morgan.

Many walkers were glad they had a chance to participate in the event.

“It makes me feel good to do something for someone else,” said freshman Josie Faus.

“It’s not much of a turnout, but I don’t think that matters because people made donations,” Faus added.

ALS is a neurological disease that damages nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Gehrig, the Hall of Fame major league baseball player and a member of Phi Delta Theta, contracted ALS during his playing career and died on June 2, 1941.

Each year, the fraternity commemorates Gehrig by donating to the ALS Association by sponsoring a walk or two annually.

According to the ALS Care Database, more than 5,600 Americans are diagnosed with ALS each year.

Men make up 60 percent of them, while 93 percent of the men are Caucasian.

The life expectancy of affected people after they are diagnosed is three or more years.

Only about 10 percent live more than 10 years after diagnosis.

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