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O.J. Brigance

“First through football and now ALS I have been given a platform that has allowed me to make an impact and help others and I am proud of what the Brigance Brigade has been able to accomplish to date,” said O.J Brigance, BBF co-founder. “Our motto is ‘All Things Possible’ and we will continue to share that belief with others and assist those living with ALS and the loving caregivers who work tirelessly on their behalf.”  

O.J.’s remarkable story and philanthropic mission for those with ALS began on the football field. A Super Bowl Champion with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens and a 1995 Grey Cup Champion with the Canadian Football League’s Baltimore Stallions, his 12-year playing career concluded in 2002. O.J. then joined the front office of the Ravens, where he continues serving as a senior adviser of player development to this day, 16 years after his ALS diagnosis.

Chanda Brigance

Chanda is a native Houstonian who was born, raised, and educated in Houston, Texas. Chanda pursued her higher education at Texas Southern University, in Houston,Texas, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Business degree with concentration in Management studies. Chanda pursued this degree path to follow her youth to present-day dream of becoming a daycare center entrepreneur.

After graduating from university, Chanda nurtured her years of experiences and dreams of working with young children. This launched a teaching opportunity with the Archdiocese of the Houston Metropolitan area where Chanda embraced educating first graders. While being an educator, Chanda’s greatest accomplishment was witnessing the joy and excitement of her student’s rapid learning.

Chanda has been married to her husband, Orenthial James, for nearly three decades.

In year 2007, Orenthial (OJ) was diagnosed with ALS, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A year later, in 2008, Chanda and her husband co-found the BRIGANCEBRIGADE.ORG foundation.

Chanda is the driving force and inspiration for the “Chanda’s Caregiver Corner”, which is a program within the Brigance Brigade Foundation. This program is designed to recognize and celebrate the special relationship between PALS (people living with ALS) and their CALS (caregivers for people living with ALS).

Since year 2007 to present day, Chanda is the primary caregiver to her husband.

Chanda’s firsthand caregiving experiences helped her gain valuable empathy, passion, and knowledge of caregiving. This insight gave Chanda the vision, inspiration, and encouragement for writing the “CHAN IS A CAREGIVER™” children’s book collection.


O.J. Brigance, Chairman

Co-Founder, Brigance Brigade Foundation

Chanda Brigance, Vice Chairperson

Co-Founder, Brigance Brigade Foundation

Anna Vitale Lybrook, Treasurer

Partner, Scholl & Lybrook CPAs LLC


Dr. Stanley Appel

Edwards Distinguished Endowed Chair for ALS Co-Director, Methodist Neurological Institute Chair, Stanley H. Appel Dept of Neurology

John Minadakis

President and CEO, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

Rick Ritter

Anchor, WJZ – CBS Baltimore

T.J. Smith

Owner, T.J. Smith Media

W. Drew Hawkins

CEO and Founder at Edyoucore Sports & Entertainment

Kayleigh T. Keilty

Associate, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Andreas T. Dailey

President and Founder of Executive Insurance Benefits, LLC


Bonnie Downing

Mike Gathagan

Lori Smyth

In Remembrance-2023


Senator Francis Kelly

Former Maryland State Senator Current Chairman of Kelly & Associates Insurance Group, Inc.

Francis X. Kelly III

Chief Executive Officer, Kelly & Associates Insurance Group, Inc.


Ladawn Johnson

Foundation Coordinator

Val Smith

Database Administrator

Anna Levendusky

Special Projects Liaison

Nancy Yasharoff

Marketing Account Manager (Maroon PR)