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Sluggers: battling ALS

Iron men and women battle ALS in CNY

The only thing CNY's John Yuhas, Esq. knew about former Yankee Lou Gherig was that he was called "The Iron Man."

Now, 70 years after Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" farewell speech at Yankee Stadium announcing to his fans he was retiring because of an illness, Yuhas finds himself living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gherig's Disease.

The Upstate NY Chapter of the ALS Association partnered with the Syracuse Chiefs to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech over the Fourth of July weekend at Alliance Bank Stadium. There were discounted tickets, a raffle for a commemorative plaque, bracelet sales and a silent auction.

"Minor and Major League Baseball partnered with The ALS Association nationally and locally," said Katharine Loomis Executive Director of The ALS Association, Upstate NY Chapter, "It was a really great event."

She added that the event at ABS raised more than $5,000 so far, and was still going due to the online silent auction the Chiefs were holding for signed baseball caps.

Yuhas and his wife Sarah Wiles weren't able to attend the event. But one could argue that their management of this incredibly debilitating disease could earn Yuhas the moniker of Iron man, too. As he does as much as humanly possible within the framework of ALS, which essentially effects one's motor skills. The disease has progressed to the point where John lives on a ventilator and can only move his eyeballs. That seems like a lot of nothing to do, but Yuhas truly looks at what he can do, and then, goes for it with all the gusto of a John Wayne character.

{Q}"If you ask Sarah, and she's right, if I didn't get this disease I'd have been dead 10 years ago," John Yuhas said.{Q}

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