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Losing my mom to ALS & raising nearly $100,000 in her memory

Partnership for this story provided by Pride Martial Arts Academy and StandOut Advertising

When Todd Patterson’s mom, Emma, was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, life changed drastically for him and his family. ALS is a devastating terminal disease impacting the muscles, and currently there is no known cure. They as a family leaned on each other through this tragic diagnosis.


“The one thing my mom was passionate about was martial arts,” Todd says. “And before she passed, that was something so special we shared.”

Todd, owner of Pride Martial Arts Academy, wanted to tie his love for martial arts, along with his mom’s passion, into a movement of kindness. And one that would live on for a long time.

“How can I take the bond we shared and turn that into a cause close to my heart and one that keeps her memory alive?”

So for a decade, the entire academy has been raising money for the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter. They are quickly approaching $100,000 collected for research and public awareness through their annual “Kick-A-Thon” and most recently, a meat raffle. 

“To see our entire student body come together to support a cause that is bringing awareness to this disease is unbelievable,” Todd says. “Martial arts teaches character development, and as we try to teach our students to be better people out in the world, this is a perfect example of helping others…even those you may not know, but those who need it.”

The 2020 Meat Raffle is approaching, happening this Friday, November 20th from 6-8pm. As with everything, Covid has caused this fundraiser to go virtual through Google Meet. 

“It is our hope that we push past the $100,000 mark, and this is the year to do it…when we all need some hope,” Todd exclaims.

To learn more about this collective effort to make a difference for the ALS Association and to make your own donation toward the cause, click here.