Who is Team Nelly?
On March 8, 2011 I was diagnosed with ALS, also know as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is neuromuscular disease that has no cure. Following my diagnosis, I started receiving treatment at the Johns Hopkins ALS clinic. During my first visit, we learned about the Robert Packard Centers annual fund raising run/walk called the Fiesta 5K. My wife, Alex, and her best friend came up with the idea to start a team to raise money for ALS research. With a modest goal of $1,500, we established team Team Nelly. A email went out to a handful of friends and family asking them to join us in May.
As the word spread, I started receiving emails and phone calls from friends, former teammates, coaches and people I never meet, many who donated to Team Nelly. In 2011, I ran the race in with 50 members of Team Nelly and raised over $23,000. In 2012, Team Nelly grew to 150 members and raised over $36,000.
Alex and I will continue to race every year and believe our team’s support of the Fiesta 5K is helping to fund the research to find a cure for ALS.
What does Tiger Up mean?
We had the team name, but still needed a t-shirt design for the race. Alex and I both went to Wittenberg University. A former teammate of mine, Peter Waldron, sent me a package with a Wittenberg t-shirt with a simple phrase on the back TIGER UP! We now had our team t-shirt design, red t-shirt with white lettering, Team Nelly on the front and TIGER UP on the back.
I have been asked by many what does Tiger Up mean. Tiger up is hard to define in words, it is more emotional and demonstrative. The term originated on the athletic fields and crossed over to daily life, and has been used to unite people to achieve a common goal.
What it means to me? Never giving up, surrounding yourself with great people, leaving it all on the field, enjoying the time you have and never having any regrets. I am faced with the ultimate challenge, but I Tiger Up ever day.
We are asking you to join us.