Chris Pendergast, Who Fought A.L.S. Mile After Mile, Dies at 71

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Chris Pendergast, Who Fought A.L.S. Mile After Mile, Dies at 71
Chris Pendergast, Who Fought A.L.S. Mile After Mile, Dies at 71

Chris Pendergast, Who Fought A.L.S. Mile After Mile, Dies at 71

Along with his spouse, Christine (Martin) Pendergast, a previous president of the Port Jefferson Station Lecturers Affiliation on Lengthy Island, he’s survived by a son, Christopher, who is called Buddy; a daughter, Melissa Scriven; and a grandson.

Mr. Pendergast and his spouse chronicled the household’s collaborative effort to confront A.L.S. in a e-book, “Blink Spoken Right here: Tales From a Journey to Inside,” which was revealed this 12 months. The title comes from the eye-tracker laptop that makes use of infrared gentle to substitute for oral speech when sufferers lose their voice.

After retiring from instructing in 2003, Mr. Pendergast usually made public appearances, together with a go to to Northport Excessive College final February, to extol the facility of perseverance when confronting adversity.

In 2005, when he spoke to elementary college students at a college on East 103rd Road in Manhattan, throughout from Gehrig’s birthplace, “you could possibly hear a pin drop,” Christine Pendergast mentioned.

Gehrig, Mr. Pendergast informed The Instances in 2009, “taught me that the human spirit can transcend any affliction. I’m now a quadriplegic, utilizing a feeding tube and an exterior ventilator for a part of the day. However with Lou as a mannequin, I nonetheless really feel I’ve an terrible lot to dwell for.”

Within the foreword to the Pendergasts’ e-book, Jonathan Eig, the creator of “Luckiest Man: The Life and Loss of life of Lou Gehrig” (2005), writes, “Chris exhibits he’s a worthy inheritor to the Lou Gehrig line.”

Echoing Gehrig, Mr. Pendergast insisted that he was fortunate in his personal method.

“There’s little question that being concerned actively in preventing the illness on this kind is life-lengthening,” he mentioned in 2005. “We will’t endure chemotherapy or invasive forms of surgical procedures to permit us to battle again in opposition to the illness, so we have now a alternative of laying down and doing nothing and permitting the illness to steamroll proper over us, or to battle again with spirit and get entangled.”

“That’s our solely drugs,” he added.

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