MLB Network’s Sarah Langs pitches fans on #FistBumps4ALS campaign


Sarah Langs started #FistBumps4ALS on social media to raise money for ALS research.

(Image credit: Project ALS).

Major League Baseball Network reporter Sarah Langs recently launched a fundraising campaign for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, hoping to spur another social media trend of fist-bumping instead of ice bucket-dumping.

Langs, who was diagnosed with ALS at a young age — 29 — launched the fundraising campaign on her birthday. The campaign aims to raise $30,000.

“I LOVE my birthday, and I am more grateful for it than ever,” she wrote on the fundraising page. Langs noted her birthday, May 2, is also the same day former baseball player Lou Gehrig’s one-time record streak of consecutive games played ended. Gehrig famously had ALS, which is why it’s often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Let’s raise as much awareness and money in the next month as we can with the #FistBumps4ALS challenge,” Langs continued. “Because high fives are hard, but showing appreciation of others is important.”

People can donate whatever amount they wish and are asked to post a video or photo on social media fist-bumping with the hashtag #FistBumps4ALS. The campaign also encourages people to nominate three others to fist-bump by tagging them in the post.

It’s a similar idea to the famous 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge, which seemed silly at first, but ended up raising $220 million for ALS research. Those funds ultimately went towards developing Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ Relyvrio, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2022.

Twitter appears to be the main social media platform taking part in the #FistBumps4ALS campaign, with the Chicago Cubs posting fist-bump photos and wishing Langs a happy birthday.

“I wanted to wish my good friend Sarah Langs a very happy birthday, which just happens to be a month to the day of Lou Gehrig Day – a really important day for major league baseball,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote on Twitter. “In honor of that, Sarah is starting a new campaign… Find someone you know, you love, anyone in your life, give them a fist bump, and help raise research money for ALS.”

Despite the FDA approval of Relyvrio being seen as a win among the ALS community, health insurers and the general healthcare world remain a bit skeptical of the drug’s efficacy and unclear clinical benefit. In February, Cigna said it wouldn’t cover Relyvrio, noting the drug was “experimental, investigational or unproven.”

Despite those setbacks, Amylyx countered that it was seeing higher-than-expected demand for the drug, which is priced at a hefty $158,000. Amylyx said it believes some 2,000 patients are currently on the drug. 

In March, the pharma reported that Relyvrio had brought in full-product revenue of $22.2 million.

One month later, the FDA approved another drug, Biogen and Ionis’ Qalsody (tofersen), to treat a rare form of ALS that’s associated with a SOD1 gene mutation. With Relyvrio and Qalsody joining the roster in the last year, there are now seven FDA-approved ALS drugs on the market.

This story first appeared on 

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