In recognition of the number Michael wore during his fourteen year career, the Scrum for Six, as the Event is called, was started in 2003 following his death.
He thought that the tingling in his extremities was due to the many nerve-jarring tackles that he made during his football and rugby careers. Maybe they were related to the more tedious motions of his profession of plumber. As his character dictated, he played and worked through the pain, never complaining and continuing to perform at his customary high level. He continued to play Rugby until his body would no longer allow. It was in 1999 when Michael Bartone finally learned that the degradation of his body was due to Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS.
ALS, more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, affects approximately 30,000 Americans at any one time. 5600 new patients are diagnosed in the U. S. each year. It is a disease that attacks the Central Nervous System, limiting the ability to control muscles. Twenty percent of the patients die within three years of their diagnosis.
Michael died in March 2002, during his battle with the disease. Shortly after his death, a Memorial Foundation was formed to accomplish three key goals; carry on his battle with ALS, preserve his memory and continue his unselfish inspiration. The Brandywine Men's and Women's Club continue to fundraise and play to this day in Michael's honor.
As part of the effort to continue to support Scrum for 6, the Brandywine Women's Rugby Club will be selling tee shirts for $20. Then they invite you to come out on 4/18 for a fun afternoon of visiting bar/restaurants throughout West Chester and enjoying beverages and food while raising awareness. To add fun to the pot the club member that sells the most tees will be taking home a six pack of their choice courtesy of Pinocchio's in Media.