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#GoingToBat: Ryan Zimmerman Turns Challenges Into Charity

Rising to face challenges is a big part of Ryan Zimmerman’s identity.

But the ones he’s confronted on the ballfield as a first baseman for the Nationals have been insignificant compared to his engagement against Multiple Scleroris – the chronic disease his mother Cheryl was diagnosed with when he was just 11.

MS affects the central nervous system, disrupting the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.

The diagnosis forced Zimmerman and his brother, Shawn, to take on extra responsibilities in order to help their family and support their mom.

As Zimmerman witnessed the toll MS took on Cheryl, he decided that helping others who suffer from the disease would also become part of his life’s mission.

In honor of his mother, and the roughly 400,000 Americans affected by MS, Zimmerman created the ziMS Foundation in 2006.

The ziMS Foundation holds multiple events throughout the year to raise money and awareness for MS. The funds raised are donated to various organizations, such as the UVA Department of Neurology, National MS Societies, MS Now, VCU Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research Center, Myelin Repair Foundation and MS Kids Camp.

Zimmerman and the ziMS Foundation hold events at bowling alleys, golf courses and even Nationals Park.

This November, Zimmerman and the ziMS Foundation will hold the 11th Annual Charity Gala at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hilton, in conjunction with the 11th Annual Golf Tournament. The golf tournament will feature contests like closest to the pin, longest drive and longest putt.

Participants will enjoy a day on the course with Zimmerman followed by an awards dinner and silent auction to benefit his foundation.

To date, the ziMS Foundation has contributed more than $1.5 million to MS chapters and research centers through the golf tournament and other fund-raising activities.

The All-Star took inspiration from his mother, and is now inspiring others to raise awareness for a disease that has yet to be cured.


Major Leaguers are #GoingToBat for causes near and dear to them, as they personify the Players Trust’s motto to ‘care, act and inspire.’ To learn more about the charitable interests and activities of Ryan Zimmerman and other Major Leaguers, please click here.