Sola Hot Mini 5k going virtual in the fight against ALS

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Sola Hot Mini 5k was launched seven years ago to benefit wounded warriors. It's a cause deeply personal to Sola Coffee owner Jeanne Luther, whose dad was shot during the Korean War.

Two years ago, everything changed.

One day in June 2018, Luther struggled to put on earrings.

"My earring dropped to the floor and my fingers weren't working like they used to," she said.

Other subtle clues followed and eventually led to doctor visits and a diagnosis of ALS.

"And so, the journey has been one walked out with my faith," she said. "Though also fear and uncertainty and also trusting God and what he has for us."

The Sola Hot Mini 5k is dedicated to funding ALS research and the hope that someday a cure will be found.

"The idea that there's not a cure, that there's no understanding of why it happens makes me realize that there does need to be more research," Luther said.

Postponed from the spring, the run is now a virtual event this week through next Monday. The response has been overwhelming for Jeanne and her husband, John. Almost 900 runners have signed up so far.

"Very heartwarming to see the community of Raleigh and our Sola community love on us this way," she said. "It's just unbelievable. Our hearts are full."

Jeanne realizes that the money raised won't necessarily save her life. The urgency however is real. The type of ALS she possess is hereditary and could potentially impact their three children.

"There is a gene that came from my father that could even be passed onto our children, we don't know," she said. "ALS is not a friendly disease. So, if this money can help enlighten doctors and researchers, it would be quite helpful."

Along with taking donations, Sola is selling T-shirts that say 'I Believe In Jeanne.' All proceeds go to fight ALS.

Going virtual hasn't slowed down the fundraising. More than $80,000 has been raised, but a lot more is needed.

Go to Solacoffee.com for more information.
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