WARWICK—Two locals have joined a larger group of individuals throughout the country to help raise awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in honor of the late John “Blazeman” Blais.
Steve Lamothe of East Greenwich and Alfred Lamothe of West Warwick decided to host a spin-a-thon in memory of Blais, a Massachusetts native who lost his life to ALS in 2007.
ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in a person’s brain and spinal cord.
Blais was diagnosed in 2005 at the age of 33 with ALS, but instead of getting down about his illness, he chose to continue competing in triathlons and push through the hardships.
He traveled to Hawaii to compete in Ironman and he became the only individual with ALS to complete the event; he was able to cross the finish line by “log rolling.”
Months before he passed, Blais was awarded the Competitor of the Year award at the Endurance Sport Awards ceremony. A month after he passed away, the World Triathlon Corporation announced that all Ironman, Ironman 70.3 and Irongirl events will reserve race number 179 for a special athlete, in honor of Blais.
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