Editor's Note: We don't do a lot of these articles around here, but this case hits close to home so I am personally imploring Blogger So Dear and the entire Wake Forest community to rally behind this cause and show that good really does wear black.
A few weeks ago Rob posted an article and a video about the #ALSPepperChallenge that was started by Wake Forest alum Tom Haberstroh and his entire family when his mother Patty was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (know as ALS, and/or Lou Gehrig's Disease). We participated in it at the Belk Bowl with Tom and his friends and family.
Haberstroh is a former basketball writer/insider at ESPN, and recently became the co-founder of Leverage The Chat (LTC) at Spotlight Media Ventures, as well as a write at-large for Bleacher Report.
In addition to Tom being a Wake Forest grad, his wife Allison ('07), and brother Steve ('04) both graduated from Mother So Dear and are the epitome of folks that we are extremely proud to call Demon Deacons.
The original post from Tom detailing the challenge is below:
Introducing the #ALSPepperChallenge— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) December 25, 2017
Because my mom just got diagnosed with ALS and we want to find a cure. So we ate habaneros/jalapeños to start a movement. This is the video...
I'm nominating @LeBatardShow @Jade_TBF and @m_cook17 to join the fight ... https://t.co/UVpZqXR3vi pic.twitter.com/8yHsuT9Six
Since this was initially posted it has taken off much like the Ice Bucket Challenge did in 2014.
You may have seen some late night hosts, celebrities, and even basketball commentators/former players/coaches doing this recently and didn't even know that there were ties to Wake Forest:
“THANKS” to @GarthBrooks & @TrishaYearwood for challenging me to the #ALSPepperChallenge! I challenge @CNN’s @JakeTapper & @WolfBlitzer!! DONATE HERE: https://t.co/x74sT5pgBD @ALSTDI @ProjectALSorg #EndALS pic.twitter.com/7gIb7PPamZ— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 1, 2018
Coach @BobbyHurley11 answered the ALS Hot Pepper Challenge from his brother @RhodyMBB Coach @dhurley15. Now he's calling out @SunDevilWBB's @ASUCoachCharli and @FootballASU Coach @HermEdwards! #ChallengeIssued #ALS ️ @ALSTDI pic.twitter.com/5jlcrEbnSK— Sun Devil MBB (@SunDevilHoops) January 23, 2018
They recently reached their initial goal of $50,000, but their next goal of $1M is ambitious and to reach it will need the help of the entire Wake Forest community and beyond:
#ALSPepperChallenge UPDATE— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) January 25, 2018
Original goal for @ALSTDI: $50,000
Today, we reached it! to you!
New goal: $1 million.
Here’s why, with a bonus challenge from my superhero mom living with ALS.
To donate for a cure: https://t.co/mMhFsW7qRf pic.twitter.com/6x59G2xvF0
While the #ALSPepperChallenge is fantastic and has brought great awareness to a disease that is incurable, but often put by the wayside compared to other diseases out there, what is really needed the most for research is money.
What I am asking for out of our great blog here is for folks to: share this post, share the challenge, participate in the challenge, but most importantly donate whatever money you can to the cause, and help get the word out even further than it has already traveled.
I have seen great things out of this blog and the entire Wake Forest family, and this is the next chapter in showing that good really does wear black and the true meaning of #ProHumanitate.
This may have taken off across America, but quite frankly there has been very little out of Wake Forest, and it is time for that to change and for Demon Deacons everywhere to be a part of this.
I don't write these posts lightly and have very rarely asked for donations or anything of this nature, but time is not on the side of those diagnosed with ALS, and every single penny donated to research brings us a little bit closer to the goal of a cure for this dreadful disease.
Tom has been great to this website, coming onto our podcast a few years ago, and also sharing our articles frequently. He is a fantastic representative of Wake Forest and an even better human being. It is time to give back to not just Tom and his mother Patty, but all of those diagnosed and impacted by ALS.
The link to donate is attached below, and all funds received go directly to the ALS Therapy Development Institute. The motto of this Institute is: "ALS is not an incurable disease. It is an underfunded one."
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I will be personally and eternally grateful if you can assist this cause in any possible manner. If you have any questions at all about this please do not hesitate to reach out to me and I will do my best to provide an answer or at least point you in the right direction!
Go Deacs and thank you very much!