suzanne alexander head shot

Honoring Suzanne Alexander – Mom, Wife, Co-Founder of Live Like Lou Foundation

Suzanne Alexander co-founded Live Like Lou along with her husband Neil Alexander upon his diagnosis with the fatal condition Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (“ALS”), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The couple’s time with the devastating disease was inspired by baseball hall of famer and “Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig, and the strength, courage, and gratitude he demonstrated with his own diagnosis in 1939. Following the example of the “Luckiest Man,” the Alexanders and hundreds of family and friends across Western Pennsylvania devoted their energy to a courageous journey of strength… to Leave ALS Better Than We Found It. In just five years, their grassroots effort helped establish the $10 million Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research at the University of Pittsburgh’s Brain Institute and raised funds to support ALS families/ALS research to find a treatment or a cure.

In 2017 their effort evolved into the national nonprofit Live Like Lou Foundation and has since raised another $10 million, supporting hundreds of families facing ALS and funding major grants for breakthrough ALS research across North America, including the establishment of a second Live Like Lou ALS research effort at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2023.

Neil Alexander died from his disease in 2015. His choice to live like Lou Gehrig while facing a devastating prognosis provides a remarkable roadmap for those who face impossible odds. Suzanne’s “Six Lessons –  Moving ONWARD Through Devastating Things” summarizes the inspiring lessons she learned from two great men.

Suzanne is a California native, proud Pittsburgh resident since 1994, mom to the thriving Abby (22) and Patrick (20), and new wife to David Sweitzer. The family resides in O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania. 

Christy Porter is a wife, mom, and nonprofit leader with a huge impact on the Pittsburgh community. The Porter family moved to Pittsburgh from Bakersfield, California as Christy’s husband Joey Porter began his illustrious football career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their daughter, Jasmine Nyree Porter, was born with Autism, leader the Porter family down a path of empathy and a passion to serve all families and the special needs community. 

In December 2019, Christy and Joey Porter acquired Holy Innocent’s Parish and renamed the 108,000 sqft property the Jasmine Nyree Campus. This organization is a multi-service campus and community center designed to address multiple needs in the community, including residential, recreational, and educational services, and more. 

Christy Porter Headshot

Featuring Christy Porter – Co-Founder of Jasmine Nyree Campus

The 2024 Celebration of Hope Gala features a plated dinner with the inspiring women of Pittsburgh! The event will include special guest speakers, a raffle and auction with exclusive items, and more! 

Proceeds provide professional counseling and support services to uninsured families who are struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, grief, traumatic events and academic problems.

Interested in a being a sponsor?

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Development at 412-366-1300 or [email protected]