EL SEGUNDO (CBSLA.com) — A former spinning instructor who dedicated her life to fitness before being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease was honored Tuesday at a South Bay gym.
For more than 25 years, Toni Brown was a spin class instructor at Spectrum Athletic Club in El Segundo. But she was forced into a wheelchair two years ago after Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or A.L.S., caused her to lose the use of her arms and legs.
Friends and former coworkers surprised Brown Tuesday at Spectrum to unveil the Toni Brown Studio, the newly renamed cycling facility where she spent so much of her time.
“I’m so amazed and so proud,” said Brown, who struggles with speaking because of the disease.
Steve Krum, the general manager of the Spectrum Athletic Club in El Segundo, has known Brown for more than a decade.
“Seeing her reaction and her enthusiasm towards this just made my day,” said Krum.
“Her body was her tool and her method of delivering Toni to the world,” he said. “And that’s what this disease is taking.”
In addition to naming the studio after her, Tuesday’s event also unveiled a special Toni Brown bike. People can ride the bike in spin class on any day of the year, as long as they make a donation to A.L.S. research.
Brown will return to the El Segundo fitness club on Saturday May 11, when Spectrum Fitness club across Southern California will hold the “Getting Down with Toni Brown” fundraiser for A.L.S. research. Last year’s event brought in $50,000.
“The great news is there is hope,” said Krum. “And I think we are making a difference with all this research.”