ALS Walk Held at Furman
Published: Friday, April 15, 2011
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2011 12:06
On Saturday April 16th from 8:30 a.m. to noon the Upstate Walk to Defeat ALS will take place at Furman University. This annual event raises funds for the South Carolina ALS Association, which aims to provide support, services, and medical equipment to those diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in South Carolina. Other walks are planned in South Carolina in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Charleston. The disease has an enormous impact nationwide. As many as 30,000 Americans are currently affected by ALS and about 15 more are diagnosed each day. The average person will live two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
Despite its nationwide scope, ALS also has reprecussions for individual lives. Adam Murphy, a Furman alumnus who pitched for the Paladins from 1991 until he received his BS in Business Administration in 1995, emphasized the impact that the disease has had in his life.
In the summer of 2007, many years after his graduation from Furman, Murphy met Brian Nikolich, who had already been diagnosed with ALS. According to Jameela Nikolich, Brian's wife and board member of the South Carolina ALS Association, "Brian's positive outlook, courage, and gentle nature in the face of such a horrible disease, secured an easy and close friendship with Adam and all his neighbors."
Brian Nickolich passed away in June of 2009 and Murphy is especially excited to be able to honor him at his alma mater this year. Murphy said "... this is my fourth year walking, and I'm so happy to know that it is being held on Furman University campus this year, so I get to honor my friend Brian by walking on my own college campus."
However, the activities of the South Carolina ALS association were not limited to the walk. A neighborhood barbeque was held in support of the Upstate Walk to Defeat ALS.
Additionally, a silent auction was held in the days leading up to the walk. The list of items being auctioned was extensive. It included gift certificates to popular restaurants, such as Smoke on the Water, Two Chefs, and P.F. Changs.
The auction also included bigger ticket items, such as furniture, airline tickets, children's birthday party packages, and an Orlando vacation package.
The Walk to Defeat ALS is open to all Furman University students, alumni, friends and family. Pre-registration for the walk will take place at www.scalsa.com. Alternately, registration tables will be available on the morning of the walk.