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ALS Alert Newsletter

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Mar 20
2019

Two families united thru love, but fueled by hope

Team Big Walt and Mike continues to honor two beloved men each May at the Fiesta 5K.

The Packard Center’s 2019 Fiesta 5K for ALS Research is just weeks away, and one crew leading the charge year after year is Team Big Walt and Mike.  Since 2012, Team Big Walt and Mike has been a constant fixture at the Packard Center’s annual event held each May in downtown Baltimore with the goal of raising awareness and funds for ALS research.

Team Big Walt and Mike represents two families, first connected by marriage and then, unexpectedly, by ALS in 2010.  The team honors three amazing men - Walt and Anthony Sulewski, two brothers who passed away from ALS decades earlier, and Mike Pohorylo, who succumbed to the disease in 2013.  Walt’s grandson married Mike’s daughter in 2006, and although the two men never met, their families have drawn inspiration from both and honor their legacy each May by raising funds for ALS research and the Packard Center.

The Packard Center was such an inspiration to the families that when Diane Pohorylo (Mike’s widow) wrote Papa is on the Moon to chronicle his life and death with ALS through a child's eyes, she asked Packard Center founder and director Dr. Jeff Rothstein to write the forward for the book.  Today, proceeds from the book benefit the Packard Center.

Since their first Fiesta 5K in 2012, Team Big Walt and Mike has raised over $23,000 for the Packard Center.  They will be back this May for their 8th consecutive event and are already on their way to being one of the top teams.

“The Fiesta 5K serves as an important inflection point each year to remember these men and to raise awareness about the burden of ALS and the need for research to find a cure,” says Pohorylo.