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‘Old Blues’ support ALS research to honor a friend and classmate

Photo by Courtesy of Amanda Tagliaferro
A lifelong athlete, Charles Skubas was a member of Yale’s varsity football team in the mid-1960s.

When John Tagliaferro, Cary Koplin, and Greg Weiss of the Yale College Class of 1966 learned that classmate Charles A. Skubas was ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), they knew they would find a way to honor him.

Skubas, a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and a lifelong athlete, was diagnosed with the progressive and neurodegenerative disease in 2007. He passed away on January 3, 2011. After visiting an increasingly frail Skubas in New Haven, Tagliaferro, Koplin, and Weiss pledged to start a fund that would not only pay tribute to Skubas but would also support the fight against ALS and related diseases. What emerged was The Charles Skubas YC ’66 Fund for ALS Clinical Support and Research.

By reaching out to classmates, former teammates, and fraternity brothers, Tagliaferro, Koplin, and Weiss, in collaboration with members of Yale’s Office of Development, have raised more than $283,400 so far. The fund will support enhanced patient care and research in ALS and related diseases, and will be used at the discretion of David A. Hafler, M.D., Gilbert H. Glaser Professor and chair of neurology at the School of Medicine, and chief neurologist at Yale-New Haven Hospital.