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Michigan Hosting ALS Awareness Night

michigan yost arena Paul Sherman

Michigan hosts Union this weekend for a pair of games at Yost Arena. Saturday’s games, scheduled for a 5pm start, will be a bittersweet affair, as the Wolverines will host an ALS Awareness Night to honor and raise awareness for former player Scott Matzka, who has been diagnosed with the disease, and former player Jim Ballantine, who passed away from the disease in 2002.

Matzka played 166 games for the Wolverines over his four year career from 1997-2001 and tallied 91 career points. He won a national championship for the Wolverines as a freshman in 1998.

In the summer of 2014, Matzka began experiencing symptoms and was eventually diagnosed with the disease. ALS(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is an invariably fatal degenerative neuromuscular disease which weakens muscle function.

For more on Matzka’s story, this feature by Steve Kornacki is excellent, as is this piece Matzka wrote for The Players’ Tribune.

Matzka has also set up a website called My Turn, to help raise awareness, and to raise money both to help find a cure and to offset the incredible costs of living with ALS.