UNF softball team hosts game to raise awareness about ALS

Strike Out ALS!

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida softball team hosted a “Strike Out ALS” game on Friday to bring awareness to ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ALS is a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.

The game was played at UNF -- facing off against Kennesaw State.

Beloved News4Jax Executive Producer Sharon Siegal Cohen lost her battle with the disease two years ago last weekend. She was honored on the video board along with Coach John Cannon, who died from ALS the same year.

Related: Honoring the legacy, fighting on: Supporters join in 18th Annual Walk to Defeat ALS |

Cannon’s daughter, Lindsey Cannon, organized the game and Michelle Decker, Senior Development Manager with the ALS Association Florida Chapter, threw out the first pitch.

John Cannon passed away in December of 2020. Lindsey and Michelle said events such as the Annual Walk to Defeat ALS and softball game help raise awareness and funds for research into finding a cure.

“ALS is not an incurable disease, it’s an underfunded disease,” Decker said. “We believe if we had the funding we needed we could find a cure.”

Click here to donate and to learn more about ALS. Click here to hear more of John Cannon’s story.

About the Authors:

Carianne Luter is an Award-Winning Digital Media and Engagement Manager for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She won "Best Social Media Engagement Strategy" during the Local Media Association 2022 Digital Innovation Awards. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.