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Todd Jennings to Raise Awareness for ALS Foundation in Kona


todd jenningsThe Brigance Brigade Foundation, an organization that supports ALS patients and their families, created by former NFL player O.J. Brigance and his wife Chanda, have announced that amateur triathlete Todd Jennings will compete in this year's 2012 Ironman World Championship triathlon to raise awareness and funds for the Brigance Brigade Foundation. Jennings competes with Ironman4ALS, a team he created which is dedicated to raising awareness for ALS organizations in an effort to accelerate the discovery of treatments and cures for the disease.

Jennings will travel to Kona, HI to compete in the Ironman World Championship on October 13, 2012. Throughout the 140.6 mile race (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike and 26.2 mi run), he will honor O.J. Brigance and the Brigance Brigade Foundation by carrying with him a photo of O.J. Brigance and crossing the finish line with a Brigance Brigade Foundation flag in his hands. In the days leading up to the event, Jennings will host an online fundraising campaign at www.gofundme.com/ironman4als whose proceeds will benefit the Brigance Brigade Foundation and help further their mission to improve the quality of life for ALS patients and their families.

"The story of former triathlete and ALS patient Jon Blais first motivated me to not only get involved in triathlons, but to do it while raising awareness for ALS," said Todd Jennings, triathlete and founder of team Ironman4ALS. "All of the things I admired about Jon - his passion to fight the disease and confront his situation, his goal of taking advantage of each day, his huge heart, and his mission of raising awareness - are all things I see in O.J. Brigance. O.J. is a true inspiration and I couldn't be more excited to help bring awareness to the Brigance Brigade Foundation through the Ironman Championships in Kona."

Todd Jennings was inspired to start training for triathlons in 2009 after he saw a piece on television about Jon Blais (known as Blazeman in the triathlon community), who at the age of 33 years old was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). Jon finished 2005's Ironman World Championship by rolling across the finish line (the Blazeman roll). Motivated by Jon's bravery and determination to live every day to the fullest, Jennings vowed to not only pick up Jon's torch and train for triathlons, but also raise awareness about ALS and hasten a cure.

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"We are so grateful and excited by Todd's dedication to raise awareness for ALS and highlight the Brigance Brigade Foundation in his upcoming race," said O.J. Brigance, co-founder of the Brigance Brigade Foundation. "Competing in the Ironman Championships is a huge accomplishment and it takes a special person to continuously think of others when facing such a large personal challenge."

Jennings trained for the Kona Ironman Championship through local non-profit endurance event company TriColumbia's Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Cambridge, MD, among others. Jennings is extremely active in TriColumbia's endurance events and volunteers for the non-profit when not participating.


About the Brigance Brigade:
OJ-n-Chanda.jpgO.J. Brigance is one of the few professional football players to win both a Canadian Football League and National Football League championship, and the only one to do it in the same city, Baltimore, MD. Brigance joined the Ravens in 2000, helped the team claim a Super Bowl victory, and now works as Senior Advisor to Player Development. In 2007, Brigance was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a motor neuron disease and is determined to win his fight against it. Following his diagnosis with ALS, O.J. and his wife Chanda created the Brigance Brigade Foundation. The mission of the Brigance Brigade Foundation is to equip, encourage and empower people living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis); we strive to improve the quality of life for them and their families by providing needed equipment, resource guidance and support services, in addition to funding various research initiatives. For more information on the Brigance Brigade, visit www.brigancebrigade.org.

About Ironman4ALS:
Our goal is simple, bring ALS awareness to everyone with which we are able to share our story. The story starts with one of the most dedicated, passionate and inspiring people, Jon Blais. It is because of Jon Blais and his mission to raise the level of awareness about ALS that inspired us to help ensure that his message and goal never dies. We are dedicated to accelerating the discovery of treatments and cures for ALS and our mission is to bring awareness to this disease and raise money for the Blazeman Foundation and other foundations dedicated to ending ALS. For more information on Todd Jennings and Ironman4ALS, visit www.ironman4als.com.