The Pittsburgh Foundation

Neil Alexander Family and Friends Fund for ALS

Established: 12/2/2011

Neil and Suzanne Alexander established in 2011. Through this fund they hope to raise awareness regarding Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the devastating condition known as Lou Gehrig's disease, provide care and comfort to ALS families in Western Pennsylvania, and support scientific research targeted at finding a cure. The fund was named for baseball great Lou Gehrig to honor the example he set for all people living with ALS.

In no particular order, Neil Alexander was a life-long Pittsburgh Pirates fan, fun-loving and active father, former LAPD police officer, devoted Hefren-Tillotson employee, avowed lover of Boston Terriers, unabashed devotee of Neil Diamond, competitive swimmer (California State Police Olympic Gold Medalist!), Tae Kwon Do blackbelt (along with son Patrick), American history buff, avid reader and handsome husband.

On June 29th 2011, at the age of 46, Neil was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. Neil liked to call it Lou Gehrig's Disease.

ALS is a neurological disorder characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neuron cells in the spinal cord and brain, which ultimately results in paralysis and death. Motor neurons, among the largest of all nerve cells, reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. When they die, the ability of the brain to start and control muscle movement dies with them. Both voluntary (e.g., arm and leg movement) and involuntary (e.g., swallowing and breathing) muscle action becomes affected. Patients in the later stages of ALS are totally paralyzed yet, through it all, their minds remain unaffected.

There is no meaningful treatment for ALS.

There is no cure.

Upon diagnosis patients live 2 – 5 years on average, with approximately 10 percent living 10 years or more.

A little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year (that's 15 new cases a day). It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.

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Neil and his wife Suzanne decided to use this next chapter in their life by launching

Neil Alexander: Celebrating and Extraordinary Life By Max King.

Type of Fund

  • Advised