The UMass ALS Champion Fund will help researchers pursue leads and breakthroughs right now that might otherwise take years to attract funding from traditional sources. The fund supports the laboratory of Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, chair and professor of neurology and a national leader in ALS research. Cellucci, who is being treated by Dr. Brown at UMass Memorial Medical Center, is leading the campaign to raise millions of dollars for the fund.
This was the first marathon for Phil Frattaroli of Boston, owner of Ducali Pizzeria in Boston’s North End, who only recently started running. Although he wasn’t challenging the elite runners on the course, he succeeded in raising the most money for the ALS UMass Champion Fund: $31,452. “I was a better fundraiser than runner,” said Frattaroli, who is a family friend of the Celluccis.
Occupational therapist Joshua Jabaut, of Saranac, NY, finished with the fastest time on the team at 3:47:49, despite the less-than-ideal 90-degree weather. Jabaut raised more than $7,000 to help fight a disease that has affected his friends and patients.
Other team members’ experience at tackling marathons varied widely: Shrewsbury native Matthew Sbrogna, now of Boston, raised more than $10,000 for the fund in preparation for running his first marathon. In contrast, Ram Viswanathan of India has competed in more than 27 marathons. He raised more than $7,500 for the cause.
The four runners with direct ties to UMass Medical School collectively raised more than $20,000: Graduate School of Biomedical Science student Anna Serquina; Charles Desourdy, UMMS associate CIO of enterprise networks; Cindy Palmer, a registered nurse in the UMass Memorial Medical Center Pediatric ICU; and photographer Rob Carlin, a former employee who works frequently for the Medical School as a freelancer.
Related links on UMassMedNow:Newsmaker: Williamson on Cellucci’s ‘toughest contest’UMass/ALS Champion FundWanted: Boston Marathon runners to support ALS researchGov. Cellucci talks about raising money for ALS researchDonation gives greater visibility to UMass/ALS Champion Fund Cellucci takes ALS fight to center field at Fenway A pitch to raise millions for ALS research