CANTON, MARYLAND – On Sunday, April 30, 2017, Kelly & Associates Insurance Group (KELLY) honored longtime friend of the Kelly family and former Baltimore Raven, O.J. Brigance’s 10-year anniversary of his ALS diagnosis at the 4th Annual Brigance Brigade Foundation’s 5.7K Championship Race and 1.57 Mile Walk at Canton Waterfront Park in Baltimore.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. O.J. and the Brigance Brigade Foundation have raised thousands of dollars to equip, encourage and empower people living with ALS.
At the end of March, O.J. spoke at KELLY’s Corporate Meeting about “Finding Faith and Fortitude through Adversity.” O.J.’s empowering speech brought to life his claim that All Things Are Possible Fighting ALS. His inspiration over the past ten years during his fight inspired KELLY to make a difference in the lives of those living with ALS as well.
In 2017, the KELLY Team and the KELLY organization raised over $10,000 for the Brigance Brigade Foundation through various employee fundraising efforts and sponsorship support which is equivalent to the cost of more than five eye-gaze devices. These devices will provide the gift of communication to families in need. The philanthropic efforts that KELLY has supported through the Brigance Brigade Foundation will go to improve the quality of life for ALS patients and their families by providing access to much needed equipment, support services and guidance.
In 1976, former Maryland State Senator Francis X. (Frank) Kelly and his wife, Janet, founded a small insurance company in the basement of their Timonium, Maryland home. Today, Kelly & Associates Insurance Group (KELLY) is the region’s leading health insurance broker/administrator, which consists of multiple companies that provide integrated total benefits, payroll and workforce management solutions for employers of every size. Senator Kelly is now the Chairman of Kelly & Associates Insurance Group and Frank Kelly III, the eldest son of Janet and Frank, serves as CEO of the KELLY companies. Frank and Janet Kelly’s other sons, John, David, and Bryan, are key leaders in the business serving in chief roles as well as presidents of KELLY’s entities and divisions.
About O.J. Brigance
O.J. Brigance, born and raised in Houston, TX, was a championship football player. He is one of the few players to win both a Canadian Football League (CFL) and National Football League (NFL) championship in his career, and he is the only player to accomplish this feat in the same city, Baltimore, MD.
In 1996, Brigance began his seven-year career in the NFL, starting out with the Miami Dolphins, helping the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV, and continuing his career with teams like the St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots.
In 2007, after experiencing numbness in his arm while playing racquetball, Brigance was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. After taking time to deal with the devastating news, Brigance and his wife, Chanda, realized just how much emotional, physical, and financial support it takes to live with the disease every day. The couple made the decision that they wanted to create a support system for patients and their families suffering from ALS.
About the Brigance Brigade Foundation
O.J. and Chanda Brigance created the Brigance Brigade Foundation in 2008. The Brigance Brigade Foundation’s mission is to equip, encourage, and empower people living with ALS. The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life for patients and their families by providing access to needed equipment, resource guidance and support services. The Brigance Brigade provides grants for individuals with ALS and their family caregivers so they are able to afford the proper care that they need. While the ultimate goal is a world without ALS, there are people who need help now. It is the understanding of that need that fuels the Brigance Brigade Foundation because together anything is possible.