Each year the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation highlights a member of the NFL community for their courage through adversity or dedication to serving the community. Their story is featured during the Courage Awards events with a special award presented during the Ed Block Celebration party.

Honorary Ed Block Award

2023 - O.J. & Chanda Brigance

Following his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2007, former NFL player O.J. Brigance and his wife Chanda created the Brigance Brigade Foundation (BBF) to equip, encourage and empower people living with ALS. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, BBF works to improve the quality of life for people with ALS (PALS) and their families by providing access to sup- port services, needed equipment and resource guidance following diagnosis.

In 1996, Brigance started off his career in the NFL after signing with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent after a five-year run in the Canadian Football League. Three years later, his Miami teammates named him as their Ed Block Courage Award recipi- ent in 1999, in addition to being honored as the NFL Player Association’s “Unsung Hero Award” that same season.

Brigance was signed by the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 and quickly became a key contributor to the Ravens’ championship- winning team. He finished second on the roster with 25 special teams tackles and led with 10 special teams tackles in the post-season, including the very first tackle of Super Bowl XXXV.

O.J. Brigance was first diagnosed with ALS in 2007, less than five years after retiring from his nearly two- decade career on the football field. The average life expectancy for those diagnosed with ALS is three to five years, but 2024 marks O.J.’s 17th year living with the disease.

The Brigance Foundation cultivates a caring community, demands dignity for all, and actively works to create a lasting, positive impact to realize a world where people living with ALS thrive with purpose and passion. Fast forward 16 years, the Foundation has helped hundreds of families living with ALS have better access to caregiving services, equipment, and in- home accessibility. BBF provides financial help, through the BBF PALS Grant Program, to offset some of the staggering costs associated with ALS.

The Brigance Brigade Foundation hosts two annual fundraising events. The “Soireé with O.J.” is held in the fall and the “5.7K Championship Race,” which honors O.J.’s jersey number, is in the spring. These gatherings embody the spirit of resilience and unity for the ALS community. We hope you’ll consider joining us for our upcoming 12th annual 5.7K Championship Race & 1.5M Family Fun Run/Walk on April 28 at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

“Regardless of what we go through in life, there is always purpose wrapped within the pain.” – O.J. Brigance


  • 2022 – Brandon “Poe” Williams 
  • 2021 – Wade Harman