RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thursday, four Raleigh high school baseball teams took part in the inaugural Chris Comb’s ALS Baseball Classic to raise money and awareness.
Chris Combs, a former N.C. State baseball star, was diagnosed with ALS — or Luke Gehrig’s disease — last May. Since his diagnosis, he has been fighting against the disease; raising about $1 million in less than a year.
Thursday, Chris’s family stepped up to the plate to help raise even more money for Chris’s organization, “Team Chris Combs.”
Thursday was perfect baseball weather, as the four teams played hours of ball at N.C. State’s Doak Field. Ryan Combs says he still remembers coming out to State to watch his older brother, Chris, play.
“I watched my brother grow up and become such a great athlete. That’s what I always wanted to be, was like my brother growing up,” said Ryan.
Ryan says his older brother, Chris, is his hero. He says that is why it was so hard when he was diagnosed with ALS.
“Just knowing he has a disease that he can’t control, and no one can control is devastating to our whole family,” said Combs.
For the past year the family has been trying to adjust to the life changing disease, but instead of feeling sorry Ryan got organized.
With coaches from his, and his brother Chris’s alma mater, Broughton High School, they organized the Inaugural Chris Combs ALS Baseball Classic.
The classic featured two games, with four different Raleigh teams, and all the proceeds go to the fight against ALS.
“It makes it so much easier to know you have so many people fighting alongside with you,” said Chris Combs.
And for the Combs brothers, family means more than just being related.
“Baseball is in our blood. Baseball is our family,” said Ryan Combs.
In total the event raised $20,000; a little more than a third of that money was raised at the door. The money will go towards the ALS Association Triangle Walk this weekend.