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Brigance Brigade Holds Its 4th Annual 5.7K Race

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- On Saturday, runners tied up their laces and hit the pavement for a good cause.

The fourth annual Brigance Brigade 5.7k championship race was held to promote awareness and support for people living with ALS.

Ten years ago, former Raven O.J. Brigance was diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The disease changed his life and the lives of his loved ones. To help other families dealing with the challenges he's faced, he created the Brigance Brigade Foundation.

In a filled waterfront park in Canton, runners, and supporters took part in the Brigance Brigade 5.7k championship race.

"It gets bigger every year, people's hearts get bigger every year. And with it growing, that means we're able to help more people living with this disease," says O.J.'s wife, Chanda Brigance, who co-founded the Brigance Brigade Foundation.

The event is to support others like, O.J., who are living with ALS.

"We are so honored to have people from up and down the east coast here to assist in the fight. While research is extremely important to us, we focus primarily on helping families with everyday medial costs that insurance doesn't cover," says O.J.

The distance of the race, 5.7k, is in honor of O.J.'s old number, as a Baltimore Raven, 57.

Each year, more people support the mission of the Brigance Brigade Foundation.

WJZ sports anchor, Mark Viviano was in attendance.

"It's great to be pushed like this, but it's also all about the cause and what you're running for, and that's why we come out to this,"  says the winner of this year's race, Andrew Cantor, who's been a participant for three years now.

"We want each and every person who is diagnosed, and their families, to know they are not alone. They are still part of society, they are still important, they still have a presence in the community," says Chandra.

This is one of two fundraisers the Brigance Brigade Foundation holds each year. The Soirée with O.J. is held in the fall.

In May, the organization is sponsoring ALS Bites, a fundraiser where participating restaurants donate a portion of proceeds from select menu items sold during the month to ALS research. Abbey Burger Bistro, Blue Hill Tavern, and Miss Shirley's are all participating in ALS Bites.

To find out more about the Brigance Brigade Foundation CLICK HERE.

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