Johnson County man living with ALS raises awareness as former Ball State football teammates rally behind one of their own

Pay it Forward

A Johnson County man living with ALS is working to increase awareness of how it can affect people.

Kevin Kinnee is overcoming adversity to spread awareness on the terminal degenerative nerve disease he was diagnosed with over a year ago. In that time, he’s found several ways to educate people on ALS and raise money for research to hopefully find a cure.

One of the ways he is raising awareness is an annual ice bucket challenge he started for his son’s lacrosse team at Center Grove High School.

Kinnee also works with the Indiana chapter of the ALS Association to raise money for research. He takes those opportunities to help people better understand how ALS impacts those living with it.

That’s because unfortunately, he says he’s had scenarios where his condition was misunderstood — like once at a fast food restaurant when someone called the police on him.

“He’s [The police officer] like, ‘Yeah, Taco Bell thinks you’re intoxicated.’ I said, ‘Sir, I am not. I have ALS, and I struggle talking.’ It happens,” said Kinnee.

On top of the work he’s doing, Kinnee’s former Ball State football teammate has started a new organization to help him called The Gridiron Brotherhood. It aims to help former athletes going through struggles.


“I think not only is it gonna help me, it will help other athletes throughout the country,” predicted Kinnee. “I foresee this Gridiron Brotherhood expanding and growing nationally.”

This Saturday at the Ball State football game, they will raise money for Kinnee and his family.

Another one of Kinnee’s former teammates plans to run 170 miles from northwest Indiana all the way to Ball State University. He’ll start Thursday morning and plans to finish Friday night before the game.

For more information on the Gridiron Brotherhood fundraiser, you can go to their website.

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