It's a Whole New Ballgame | VUMC Campaign Update

ALS Research
ALS Awareness

We are well into the holiday season, and have much to celebrate before closing out 2022, thanks in no small part to the donors and friends of our Nashville campaign to fund ALS research capabilities in Middle Tennessee. Today we are approximately $100,000 from reaching our $3.5 million goal for phase one of the LiveLikeLou Foundation’s It’s a Whole New Ballgame for ALS campaign for research at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Every single dollar we raise will be invested in brand new research at Tennessee’s premier medical center.

Without the generosity of hundreds of donors, volunteers, advocates, and friends of LiveLikeLou, we would not have achieved this incredible momentum. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for the important role you have played in getting us to this milestone. 

Included below are updates about our campaign and what’s on-deck for LiveLikeLou and VUMC in 2023. 

LiveLikeLou's VUMC Campaign in the News

Axios Nashville reports

The LiveLikeLou Foundation’s ALS campaign gains momentum in Nashville. Nashville-area advocates pushing to cure ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, are celebrating a watershed year marked by scientific advances and broad community support for more research.

The latest: An effort to create a dedicated ALS research hub at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is running years ahead of schedule, thanks to grassroots philanthropy and support from the Tennessee state government. Read more from Axios Nashville.

The Campa-Cathey Family

LiveLikeLou campaign champions, Evan Campa and Eben Cathey, are featured in VUMC’s 2022 Impact Report. Learn more about this hard working family.

Campaign Overview

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our campaign overview as we grow support for this disease that needs more at bats to find treatments and cures.

Save the Date: All for Lou Showdown at First Horizon Park

Vandy Boys baseball takes on Nashville cross-town teams in 2023 as a benefit for LiveLikeLou’s It’s a Whole New Ballgame for ALS campaign. Mark your calendar for Vandy Boys vs. the Belmont Bruins on March 14 and vs. the Lipscomb Bisons on March 21 in the All 4 Lou Showdown at First Horizon Park, home of the Nashville Sounds. Stay tuned for ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities coming soon!

Vanderbilt Coach Corbin’s ALS Pep Talk

LiveLikeLou fans gathered in Nashville at Vanderbilt University’s Hawkins Field on October 24 to hear a keynote address from Vanderbilt baseball’s very own Coach Tim Corbin. We were honored to host Coach and his wife Maggie, with 40 distinguished guests to recognize and celebrate dear friends and supporters of LiveLikeLou’s It’s a Whole New Ballgame for ALS campaign.

Coach shared his personal story of lifelong competitor and close friend Keith LeClaire who was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 and lost his battle within five years. He shared that Keith lived for baseball and that the game dominated his life. However, ALS redefined his life in so many ways. Coach said that Keith’s typed words, “Corbs, I’m a more complete person now than I was when we first knew each other,” had so much power and influence on his own life and work as a coach.

Coach relayed a main component of his team’s playbook (and we are passing these on to you): “Before you defeat an opponent, you have to learn to respect it.” He continued, “[ALS] has our attention. We respect it because of how powerful it is. We don’t admire it, but we respect its power.”

Coach told the crowd that he defines character traits for his baseball team when prepping them for the field. One of these is a “philanthropic heart—giving yourself away to something that is bigger than you.” He tells his team that, “the person who has a philanthropic heart has exponentially more power than any individual. When we become emotionally engaged, we have something greater than any one person.”

In referring to ALS, Coach opined, “How do you defeat something this powerful? You come together. You respect it. You work together to surpass it. We will defeat ALS by working together.”

Corbin closed his remarks with, “ALS is on a streak. It will come to an end when we all come together and say, ‘No more. This streak is over with. It’s gone.’ We come up against it. We respect it. We defeat it. We can all join forces to defeat this.”

We are grateful for these words of inspiration that will serve as wind beneath our wings to the finish line. Thanks, Coach Corbin!

Success: Shootout 4 ALS Hits Target

On October 14, 2022, more than 75 LiveLikeLou patrons of all skill, age, and engagement-level participated in the second annual LiveLikeLou Shootout 4 ALS at the Nashville Gun Club. Nearly $50,000 was raised to support our campaign for new ALS research at VUMC on this extraordinary fall afternoon. Chairs, W.L. Gray, Staci Galentine, and Dane Chetkovich, MD, had much to celebrate as shooters took aim in this sporting clays tournament to raise funds to eradicate this neurological disease once and for all.

The evening closed with the reveal of the day’s shooting and our silent auction winners, and guests gathering to enjoy Martin’s BBQ and beer provided by Lipman Brothers. Special thanks to our sponsors, auction donors and winners, participants, volunteers, and all who made this event a success. It was a day to be remembered by all!

Special thanks to our Shootout sponsors:

  • Presenting: Sewell Mill
  • Gold: Goodpasture Gray
  • Silver: Family of Neil Alexander,, Chalos Family, Essex Mortgage, Mercedes Benz of Music City, Permobil Foundation, Pinnacle Financial, David Sweitzer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Wilson County Motors
  • Iron Horse Station: Family of Neil Alexander, The Hill Group, Permobil Foundation

LiveLikeLou Accomplishments

In addition to this Nashville-based activity, did you know that across North America LiveLikeLou has:

  • Registered more than 300 ALS families to date for one-time or short-term service in and around their home with our partners from Lou Gehrig's Fraternity, Phi Delta Theta?
  • Funded more than $300,000 in scholarships to dependents of ALS warriors through our Iron Horse Scholarships program. The application for 2023 awards opens in January.
  • Our investments in ALS scientific research grants for promising early-career scientists has grown to more than $500,000 since 2018?

We have accomplished so much in 2022 and have much to look forward to in 2023. If scientific research and our efforts to build VUMC's capability in ALS discovery align with your philanthropic interests, we welcome your support with a year-end gift to our campaign.

Thank you for your ongoing support of LiveLikeLou and our efforts to leave ALS better than we found it. We hope to see you soon and wish you the best the holiday season has to offer.

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In the Dugout