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Race Honoring O.J. Brigance Helps To Raise Awareness For ALS

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- An inspiration on and off the football field. Former Baltimore Raven O.J. Brigance has shown amazing courage as he fights Lou Gehrig's disease.

Saturday, he hosted a star-studded event to help others with ALS.

Linh Bui has details on the fundraiser.

The 5.7K race was held Saturday morning at the Canton Waterfront Park. The weather was beautiful and the turnout was incredible.

Taking steps to fight Lou Gehrig's disease. Former Baltimore Raven O.J. Brigance hosts the first Brigance Brigade 5.7K. Diagnosed with ALS in 2007, the star athlete continues to be an inspiration.

"This is our chance to make a difference and not allow our situation to define our limitation," Brigance said.

It was a 5.7K because Brigance's jersey number was 57.

"It's amazing how much people step up for something like this," said Linda Perryman, participant.

Among the VIP guests--Baltimore born actor Josh Charles, who was on the CBS hit show The Good Wife. He's known Brigance for years.

"He asked me if I'd be a part of this and I was just really happy to be out here," Charles said. "You know if I'm getting up this early in the morning and running then I care about something."

Money raised goes to the Brigance Brigade Foundation to help people with ALS and their families. One example is by providing equipment and guidance.

"The city of Baltimore has always been here for us and always helped and supported the foundation, and we just want to say thank you," O.J.'s wife, Chanda Brigance, said.

The community came out in full force to support a great cause and a great man.

"The turnout for the race was phenomenal and we are so humbled by the support of Baltimore to battle ALS," said O.J. Brigance. "We are so thankful and look forward to helping pals who need our help."

In addition to the 5.7K race, there was also a one-mile run and walk and a kids' fun run.

The Brigance Brigade plans to make this an annual event. Organizers hope next year's turnout will be even bigger.

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