Neil and Suzanne Alexander of O'Hara Township established LiveLikeLou.org in 2011, soon after Neil was diagnosed with ALS at age 46. Their children, Abby and Patrick, were 10 and 8 years old at that time. The Pittsburgh-area couple created the LiveLikeLou.org fund through the Pittsburgh Foundation. They aimed to “leave ALS better than we found it” by raising awareness about the disease, providing care and comfort to ALS families in Western Pennsylvania, and supporting scientific research to find a cure. The Alexanders named the fund for baseball great Lou Gehrig to honor the example he set for all people living with ALS.
The couple launched a monumental fundraising effort for the Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research, fully aware that new findings and a potential cure would probably not come in time to help Neil. At the announcement of the creation of the center, Neil said, “We want to do this for the next guy, the next father who starts to get a twitch in his left arm.” Neil died six weeks later (see Remembering Neil Alexander). His wife Suzanne is carrying on the challenge.