I am a 32- year-old from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I am also a first responder for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. I have a lovely wife, Abby, and two amazing boys, Dash, five, and Kip, three.
March 1, 2021 forever changed my life. After struggling to find out what was causing certain neurological symptoms starting in July 2020, I was eventually referred to the University of Maryland. They performed multiple MRI’s, CT Scans blood tests, and spinal taps. Eventually I was sent to the National Institute of Health for two days of intense testing, and I was officially diagnosed with ALS.
This was by far the worst thing I’ve ever been told, especially at a young age with two young kids. But I refuse to concede to this disease, and I am fighting this battle with my head held high! I have a great team of family and friends who are supporting me and sending all kinds of positivity.
With my family and friends, I started #TEAMLEONARDSTRONG to support the Brigance Brigade Foundation’s 5.7K Championship Race and 1.57M Family Fun Run/Walk.
While there are many reasons I am supporting the Brigance Brigade, one of the biggest is because after my diagnosis one of the first people to reach out was Eric DeCosta, the general manager for the Baltimore Ravens. Even though he was preparing for free agency and the draft, he took time out of his schedule to speak with my family, and showed nothing but love, support and kinds words! He also told me more about O.J. Brigance, his experience with ALS, and the Brigance Brigade Foundation. OJ also reached out, and gave me much needed motivation. I cannot thank Eric, his wife Lacie, OJ, and the entire organization enough.