Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient and advocate Christopher Pendergast, aged 19 years old, founder and president of the organization the Ride For Life, presented Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, with a $1 million check following the university’s “Ride For Life” Celebration and Remembrance Ceremony, a Stony Brook news release reports. Pendergast and ALS patient Steve Depascale reportedly led the charge during the event alongside family and friends. 

The event included a display of 6,000 pinwheels representing the American lives lost each year to ALS, the release says. Ninety names were also recited to mark the number of minutes between deaths from ALS in the US. Family members honored six individuals who passed away this year with past involvement in the Ride during a final tribute involving the release of 6 white doves.

Pendergast also received a personalize Stony Brook Seawolves baseball jersey with Lou Gehrig’s number  4 from stony Brook University president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. According to the news release, the Remembrance Ceremony was held the same day that Lou Gehrig passed away from ALS in 1941.

The Ride for Life organization, started in 1998, aims to raise awareness and funds for ALS. The release notes that the organization has raised more than $3 million for ALS research since its start and helps support Stony Brook Medicine’s Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence, an ALS Association certified center on Long Island.

For more information on the Ride for Life, click here.

Source: Stony Brook University