David McKannan Loses Battle With ALS
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – David McKannan, well-known in Huntsville and especially the local running community, died Friday morning. He was 57 years old.
McKannan bravely battled ALS since 2008. He was a runner, and championed his disease by helping raise awareness about ALS through the David McKannan 5K Run For Research. This May marked the third year for the run.
“I appreciate all of the runners that participate,” McKannan said in May during an interview with WHNT News 19. “It inspires me to continue being an advocate for ALS awareness.”
McKannan graduated from Grissom High School in 1973, where he was a star runner. He continued his sport and made his mark on the track team at Auburn University, where he graduated in 1980.
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.
According to the ALS Association, every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS.
In a fitting tribute Thursday evening, the volleyball team at Pope John Paul II Catholic High School in Huntsville presented a check for $1,100 to the ALS Foundation. The team’s coach is Maureen McKannan, David’s wife.