Long-time friends, Alex Litt and Cory Sullivan, had much in common, including a mutual love for the game of golf. Little did they know ALS would eventually become another thing they would share.
Cory’s father, John, lost his battle with ALS in 2009. It was a nagging pain in his right hip he would get while playing golf that led him to see a doctor which ultimately led to an ALS diagnosis. He passed away just a short seven months later.
A decade later, in 2019, ALS struck the lives of the two friends again. Alex’s father, Marc, a highly respected cardiologist who dedicated over three decades to serving the Jacksonville community, was diagnosed with ALS. Marc's physical decline was evident during his last round of golf, as he relied on hiking poles to maintain balance. Today, he is confined to a wheelchair, battling the impact of his disease progression.
Motivated by the profound impact of ALS on their lives and families, Alex and Cory decided to use their shared passion for golf, and both their fathers' love of the sport, to make a difference. They envisioned creating an annual event that would raise both awareness and funds for ALS research and support, and with that the ‘100-Hole Challenge to Beat ALS’ was born.
"Every day for my dad is a struggle, just to swallow or drink water,” said Alex. ”With ALS, you can't do the things you used to love doing, all the things we take for granted. All Cory and I can do is find something to galvanize people to think about what families who have someone with ALS are going through."
On June 19th, 2023, the day after Father's Day, Alex and Cory embarked on an extraordinary endeavor at The Onion Creek Club in Austin, Texas. Despite facing a scorching sun with a 117-degree heat index, the single hottest day on record in Austin, they played an astounding 100 holes of golf in a single day. “Both of our fathers were inspirations to our families about how they handled it,” Cory said. “Playing 100 holes of golf is nothing compared to what our fathers went through."
While pushing through the extreme heat was not easy, Cory and Alex were determined to complete the challenge they had set for themselves. "We can never replicate that feeling of living with ALS, but we can push our bodies as much as we can to, for a second, feel what these people are going through. Like what our fathers have been through,” Alex said.
The inaugural event surpassed all expectations, raising almost $200,000 for the ALS community. The generous contributions from their participants and supporters highlight the compassion and solidarity of those who joined Alex and Cory in their fight against ALS. They are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support received during this initial event and see it as just the beginning of their mission to ‘Beat ALS.’
Special thanks to Cory and Alex for allowing us to share their inspiring story. To learn more about how you can help fight ALS, visit our website HERE.