Open your eyes to ALS through "Walking 4 Lou"

July 25, 2011 2:01:00 PM PDT
Thirty year-old Matt Mondoux of upstate New York was a man on a mission, a 360-mile mission.

He is doing what he calls "Walking 4 Lou", an awareness and fundraising walk for Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS.

He's wearing the number four uniform of the New York Yankee great to draw attention to his cause- a cause that became personal about a year ago.

"One of my friends ended up diagnosed with ALS back in May 2010. So I started looking this disease up and I noticed how horrific it was," Mondoux said.

After finishing 10 years with the army National Guard, including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, Matt mapped out this new challenge.

"I needed something to show struggle, something that you know a lot of people said that I couldn't do," Mondoux said.

Matt started off walking alone, but he picked up a partner a few days into the long trek, the pastor of Wilson first Baptist church in New York.

"We struggle together, we walk through it together and it's just been wonderful," the Pastor said.

Matt summons strength from people he's met along the way. Some have given him wristbands, including the mother of a fallen soldier, the father of a young child with a brain tumor, and a woman who is the 33rd person in her family tree to be stricken with ALS.

"I honestly think that these people are totally with me along the way," Mondoux said.

Matt also draws inspiration from the legend of Lou Gehrig, known for that famous "Luckiest Man" speech 72 years ago.

Matt says he refuses to let his own physical struggles on this walk sideline him from his goal.

"My feet are blistered, swollen, one is infected and we're not just going to quit until we get there," Mondoux said. ------------- Online: LINK: WALKING 4 LOU