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zumbathonIt’s that time of year…our #Zumbathon4ALS is back and better than ever! We’ve been posting information about our Zumbathon for a while now. It will be a great evening…the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders will be there, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker will join us, as will mascot Poe, and of course, our fabulous Merritt instructors.

But, have you thought about the significance of the event? What it’s all about? Why we dance and ask you to join us? The Zumbathon represents so much more than just a big outdoor dance party. Our Zumbathon benefits the Brigance Brigade Foundation.

Founded by former Baltimore Raven O.J. Brigance and his wife, Chanda, the Brigance Brigade Foundation is one of the only ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) organizations that provides funding to families for in-home care. This is so that those touched by ALS can live their lives safely, and with as much independence as possible.

zumbathon4als 2016

OJ and Chanda Brigance at #Zumbathon4ALS 2016

ALS is a disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscles. As muscles become affected, walking, talking, eating, and even breathing become more difficult. Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 6,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year (15 new cases a day). It is estimated there are more than 20,000 Americans that have the disease at any given time.

Justin Tucker at Zumbathon 4 ALS 2015

The Brigance Brigade Foundation equips, encourages, and empowers people living with ALS. They improve the quality of life of those touched by ALS: through support services and grant funding for medical equipment and care not covered by traditional insurance.

Living with ALS can cost families up to $200,000 per year or more. Once a person with ALS requires help with activities of daily living, family caregivers often face difficult decisions and challenges. These include trying to balance the cost and delivery of home health care with everyday living expenses, needs of children or other family members, and their own health.

So, this year, join us. Dance with us (even if you can’t dance). Make your donation. Encourage your friends to dance or sponsor you. Make every step count. Join us Wednesday, May 16 starting at 6:00pm at THE AVENUE at White Marsh. Minimum donation of $25. Children $5.