Players show up for ALS race


May 04, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

The Ravens took a break out of their minicamp schedule to surprise O.J. Brigance, showing up to run at yesterday's charity 5K race for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Brigance, 38, a former Ravens player who is the team's director of player development, was the honorary chairman for the event that started at Power Plant Live.

He was diagnosed in May 2007 with ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive and fatal illness that shuts down nerve cells responsible for movement.

Minutes before the race began, Ravens players and coaches arrived as a team, wearing "Brigance Brigade" T-shirts. Several players hugged Brigance.

"I don't have the words to describe this," Brigance said. "For everyone to come out and support me and support this cause, I am truly honored."

The second annual race was held to benefit the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins. It drew about 700 people and raised more than $160,000, Brigance said.

"We wouldn't miss this for the world," Ravens nose tackle Kelly Gregg said. "Even in his situation, he continues to help us out. It's always been about us and never been about him. He's an unselfish guy."

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