"When you learn that your father has a deadly disease with no cure and that his body will deteriorate to the point he is completely paralyzed but his mind will remain sharp – it hurts everyday and feels unfair and is hard to stay positive, but my dad being such a source of strength along with my mom have inspired and made me believe anything is possible."
Brent Levison was 18 years old when his father, Marc, was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
ALS is short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that kills the nerves that the brain uses to move muscles.
It has no known cure.
Marc has had the disease for more than 19 years – making him one of the longest-lived survivors in the world. He speaks in mumbles and can only move one hand, yet he continues to race around Bexley in his motorized wheelchair.
At 8:30 a.m. Aug. 31, Jeffrey Park will host the 6th Annual Marc Levison 5K Run/Walk for Lou Gehrig’s disease.
"Over the past five years, the run has raised $115,000 for research into motor neuron diseases like ALS at Nationwide Children’s Hospital," Brent said.
In 2007 alone, the event drew 300 participants and raised $28,000. So far, only 50 participants have signed up; however, most people will wait until the actual event, Brent said.
Donations can be sent to: The Helping Link Foundation c/o Marc Levison Run for ALS, 2740 Fair Ave., Columbus, OH 43209.
To sign up for the race, register at www.premierraces.com/races/marclevison.html.
To become a sponsor for the race, contact Brent at 296-4625 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.