Matzka takes "My Turn" as Wolverines assist in ALS awareness

Posted at 3:55 PM, Jan 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 11:22:06-05

What does it take for an idea to become a spark?

How about when that spark becomes a movement?

And when does that movement generate change?

After millions of dollars were raised due to its efforts, scientists were able to identify a new ALS gene, NEK1, that ranks high among the most common genetic factors associated with ALS.

Sadly, there's still no cure.

"This discovery wouldn't have happened without he ice bucket challenge," John Landers, Ph. D. A professor of neurology said.

A Charity hockey game between the Michigan Wolverine and Detroit Red Wings alumni brought over 2,000 people thru the doors at Yost Arena on a blustery Saturday night.

And it's all for one man. Former player Scott Matzka, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2015.

"It just hit me like a ton of bricks, from that moment on it was constantly in my thoughts and what can we do, how are we going to help his family and help Scott and this is the culmination of that," L.J. Scarpace, college roommate and teammate of Matzka said.

"This was an opportunity for Scotty to take the lead on this and really raise a lot of awareness, you don't really think about it until someone you know is affected by it," Michigan teammate Bill Trainor added.

But Matzka isn't the type to sit on the sidelines. He simply won't. John Frates, the father of Pete, challenged him to carry the torch forward, and Matzka has owned that challenge, thus the power of "my turn" was unearthed.

"He had said it's your time to carry the torch, your turn to do what you can do," Scott Matzka said.

"Scott stayed strong and that's a big thing, he is out here in the front, he's speaking on it and we're trying to do what we can for him," Scarpace added.

"I've got a unique platform to tell my story and I'm very bless that people like U of M other groups step up and get behind us and really help us," Matzka said.

On just one night, 30-thousand dollars were raised to help Matzka and his family as he continues his battle, but the impact and awareness that left Yost that night are worth far more, as the "My Turn" idea has turned into a spark, that's not far away from being a movement.

"I'm not sure what we're doing will end up benefiting me but I hope that somebody in my position five or ten years from now maybe doesn't have to deal with it," Matzka stated.