Cole Spector, 92130 local and fifth grader at Solana Pacific Elementary School, recently helped host an assembly for 650 of his peers that highlighted the importance of finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Cole’s aunt Marjie Block has lived with ALS for seven years, so spreading awareness of the disease is a mission that is close to his family’s heart. His aunt Deborah Silver and cousin Madison Silver founded the social media campaign SLAM ALS for ALS Awareness Month in May, which became the inspiration for the assembly.

“My aunt and cousin started this national campaign, SLAM ALS, and I wanted to help San Diego get involved. I told my principal Mrs. Fregoso about my plan, and she told me about Mrs. Kelly Monahan, a teacher at Solana Pacific who had just spoken to her about her uncle being diagnosed with ALS,” Cole explained. “Mrs. Fregosa introduced Mrs. Monahan to me and we planned a presentation together!”
The concept of SLAM ALS is similar to that of the Ice Bucket Challenge. In this particular campaign, participants are encouraged to record themselves “slamming” something – a door, book, hockey stick, etc. – and then post the video to their social media accounts with the hashtag “SlamALS.” These “Slambassadors” are encouraged to be creative but safe. At the Solana Pacific assembly, 650 students slammed their foot down at one time in support of SLAM ALS. Later that day, Cole’s classmates also slammed their books for the cause.

Cole shared, “I hope more people learn what ALS is, I hope they raise a lot of money for research, and I hope they find a cure soon to save my aunt’s life as well as all the others diagnosed.” To donate or learn more about participating visit