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This past May, the ALS Association began honoring baseball great Lou Gehrig's legacy in a nationwide campaign to raise money for cutting-edge research to find treatments to cure the neurodegenerative disease that took Gehring's life at age 37 and bears his name.

Well into August this campaign has reached a fantastic global reach with seemingly everyone challenging friends, family and celebrities to the "Ice Bucket Challenge." A challenge that has earned millions in the name of Gehrig and the cries of "It's sooo cold" can be heard across driveways, decks and yard AND through laptops and mobile devices at the library!

With thanks to the official website for Lou Gehring at http://www.lougehrig.com, I'd like to share Gehrig's words from his farewell address.

Listen HERE: http://www.lougehrig.com/audio/farewell.mp3

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. 

"Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky. 

"When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies - that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter - that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body - it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed - that's the finest I know. 

"So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for."
- Lou Gehrig

For additional resources on ALS, please contact us at the NBPL Reference Desk at 262-785-4980.

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About the Author

Natalie is the Deputy Director with the New Berlin Public Library... Read More »

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