Former Gov. Paul Cellucci took to the field at Fenway Park on Thursday, May 19, to publicly announce his next, most personal, campaign: raising millions of dollars for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research at UMass Medical School and the work of Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, chair and professor of neurology. Cellucci was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, last year and is being treated by Dr. Brown, one of the leading ALS researchers in the country.
Cellucci was driven onto a damp Fenway field in a golf cart with Chancellor Michael F. Collins and Brown before the Red Sox game against the Detroit Tigers. The three were on the mound as Chancellor Collins threw out the first pitch and Cellucci enthusiastically announced the favorite words of baseball fans everywhere, “Play ball!”
“In my career, I don’t remember a more selfless act by an individual,” said Chancellor Collins. At the event, which officially unveiled the UMass/ALS Champion Fund, Cellucci was joined by friends and supporters, including former Gov. Jane M. Swift and former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Gov. Deval Patrick declared the day “Paul Cellucci/ALS Champion Day” in the commonwealth, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino named it “Champion Day” in the city, both through formal proclamations.
“I'm going to be talking to people from my old political network and I hope I can get some support there,” said Cellucci at a pregame press conference. “I'm going to be very active.”
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UMass ALS Champion Fund website
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