Our new guy Jeff Kurkjian got devastating news last summer and wants to now share it with XTU Nation.
In the summer of 2021, our family got devastating news that Matt Kurkjian, my dad’s brother and my uncle, was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. According to ALS.org, here’s more info about this awful disease.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise.
When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. When voluntary muscle action is progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe.
That’s the technical definition about what is happening to my uncle but seeing it all go down is devastating. He’s an absolute fighter so I’m not surprised at all that his condition isn’t moving AS quickly as some others. The disease affect people differently, he’s fighting but it isn’t easy.
For our family, this hasn’t been easy but through a network of amazing groups and people, we have been able to educate ourselves and meet others going through similar struggles.
After coming to terms with the news, my dad, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian, came to Las Vegas (where I was living at the time) to do a very special event to raise money for the ALS Association of Southern Nevada.
You can watch the video above, baseball fans you’re going to want to watch the whole thing! We raised over $3,000 for the amazing cause. We have worked closely with The ALS Association in order to raise awareness, connect families and help people with their medical expenses. Here’s more about their organization
Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national nonprofit organization fighting ALS on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.
Finally, I want you to meet to my uncle.