Ramstad to Receive Brian Dickinson Courage Award by ALS Association

May 22, 2008

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- Former URI faculty athletics representative Dr. Ynvge Ramstad will be presented with the Brian Dickinson Courage Award as part of the ALS Association - Rhode Island Chapter's 2008 "Evening of Hope." The event will be held on Thursday, June 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.

Each year the ALS Association - Rhode Island Chapter presents the Brian Dickinson Courage Award to an individual or individuals who illustrate tremendous faith and courage and are symbols of hope for others who are affected by ALS.

Doctors diagnosed Dr. Ramstad with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in the Summer of 2005. On Oct. 17, 2007, a committee comprised of URI faculty, members of the athletics department, students, staff and supporters held a charity walk on URI's Quadrangle - the Walk to D'Feet ALS - to honor the former chair of URI's economics department and student-athlete at Indiana University.

More than 250 supporters, organized under the banner of the "Ramstad's Rams," worked to raise close to $10,000 for the ALS Association - Rhode Island chapter with two charity walks. Ramstad's Rams also participated in the statewide ALS walk on Oct. 21.

The goals of the 2008 Evening of Hope event are to: raise awareness; to generate the funds needed by the Chapter to provide ongoing services and support to ALS patients and families in Rhode Island, and to provide funding for the Chapter-sponsored Louise Wilcox Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic located in Providence.

The ALS Association's mission is to lead the fight to cure and treat ALS through global, cutting-edge research, and to empower people with Lou Gehrig's disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. The Rhode Island Chapter is dedicated to the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and to providing local support and services to ALS patients and their families.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neural disease that affects the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, causing them to stop sending the electrical impulses that force the muscles to move. Over time, the muscles start to decay and shrink, until the victim is basically paralyzed. There is currently no cure, but treatment options are available that slow the development of the disease and control symptoms.