By Suzanne Alexander – Director of The LiveLikeLou Foundation
As seen in the Winter 2018 Edition of The Scroll
As part of LiveLikeLou’s mission to “leave ALS better than we found it,” Neil Alexander developed the Iron Horse Awards, providing financial grants to children of ALS patients to help offset the cost of regular childhood experiences such as summer camps, sporting events, and holiday gifts. The program also provides college scholarships to children of ALS patients to help with the expense of tuition. The scholarship pays up to $4,000 over two years, honoring Lou’s #4 jersey. To date, four Phi Delta Theta brothers have been awarded the Iron Horse Award Scholarships.
Marco Meglio, a senior at Hofstra University received his first scholarship in 2017. He said he wants Phi Delta Theta brothers to know “… ALS affects more people than you think. During my new member education process, I learned one of my pledge brothers had lost his dad to the same thing. It was so coincidental because it was maybe the second time in my life that I had met someone who had been through the same thing as me.”
I want people to pay attention to this disease and understand how many people it affects annually,” Marco said.
David Martin received his LiveLikeLou scholarship while attending Creighton University, where he graduated in 2015. He said “I joined Phi Delta Theta because of its philanthropic connections to ALS and the amazing things the Fraternity was doing for the disease. The work we are doing today could lead to a cure for ALS tomorrow. We are going to help somebody else’s dad who gets the diagnosis one day.”
David said, “The scholarship helped my family and me live the beauty of life versus focusing on the struggle that comes with this expensive disease. It was painful and terrible, but it allowed such love and humanity to be present in the midst of the terrible disease.”
Cullen Kyte, a junior at Chapman University also received his first scholarship this year. He said that his father’s journey with ALS was complicated by mental illness as well, which is a common affliction with the disease.
Cullen said, “While my father was digressing, the toll it took on my family steadily became more apparent. I want my Fraternity brothers to understand that ALS is more than just a terminal illness that the diagnosed is fighting; it’s a very impactful disease being fought by the whole family.”
Of The LiveLikeLou Foundation announcement Cullen said, “We now have the platform to reach out and make real life changes for children who have been told that their parent has ALS and will die within the next two to five years. These children are trying to adapt to their new life with ALS. Phi Delts can help these kids grow so that when they lose their parent to ALS, they have a support system of brothers to lean on.”