Former 49er great Roger Craig is making good a promise made to ex-teammate Dwight Clark, who was recently diagnosed with the degenerative muscle disease ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Craig, who said in a statement that Clark is like a brother to him, vowed to be there for the former-49ers receiver in whatever way he needed after his diagnosis, and is now attempting to raise $87,000 for the ALS Association through his participation in the upcoming San Jose Marathon on October 8. The 87K mark is a nod to the No. 87 Clark famously wore throughout his distinguished NFL career.
Craig, 57, will be running the 13.1 mile race with Team Challenge ALS, with the dollars raised going to “cutting-edge research, vital patient care programs and important advocacy work of the ALS Association.”
“The 13.1-mile race is always an incredible challenge, both physically and mentally, but this time I will think about how Dwight is fighting this terrible disease, and I will push on,” Craig said in a statement.
Clark, 60, is a two-time NFL All-Pro and Super Bowl champion who spent his entire NFL career (1979-1987) with the 49ers. Clark’s game-winning touchdown catch at the end of the 1981 NFC Championship Game vs. the Cowboys, known simply as “The Catch,” is considered one of the most memorable plays in NFL history. Clark is one of 12 former-49ers to have their numbers retired by the club. On March 19, 2017, Clark announced that he’d been diagnosed with ALS, which affects control of muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. According to Craig, Clark quickly became unable to perform simple tasks such as unbuttoning his shirt after the diagnosis.
Craig played running back for the 49ers from 1983-1990 and made the Pro Bowl four times while helping the team to three Super Bowl titles. He, like Clark, is a member of the 49ers Hall of Fame.
At the time of writing six percent of the targeted goal has been reached ($5,626). You can donate here before the marthon this Sunday.
Here’s Craig’s full statement:
Will You Join Me?
This October 8, I’ll be running the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon in honor of my good friend and former teammate, Dwight Clark, who is battling ALS.
The 13.1-mile race is always an incredible challenge, both physically and mentally, but this time I will think about how Dwight is fighting this terrible disease, and I will push on. In 2017, Dwight Clark was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. After visits to six neurologists and three ALS specialists, Clark was told he had the terminal neuromuscular condition which affects control of muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. He quickly became unable to even button his shirt. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, eventually leading to complete loss of voluntary muscle action. Dwight Clark is like a brother to me. This news crushed me. I’ve vowed to him to be here for whatever he needs from me. This is why I hope to raise $87,000 for The ALS Association in honor of Dwight, who sported the number 87 during his entire football career. The dollars raised at Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose will benefit cutting-edge research, vital patient care programs and important advocacy work of the ALS Association.
Here’s how you can help. Run with me on October 8 in San Jose, CA. Runners and walkers of all levels are encouraged to sign up as there are also 10K and 5K races. Join the fun with Team Challenge ALS! To Register, click on the Start Fundraising button today. Please consider still making a donation today to help us reach $87,000! No amount is too small.