Richard Bedlack, M.D., Ph.D.
, is known for wearing outrageous outfits to lift patients' spirits in his work as director of the Duke ALS Clinic.
Fashion designer Paul Smith heard about this, and recently sent seven rare ties for Duke men's basketball staff and supporters to wear in the March 4 game against UNC. Cornflowers are an international symbol of the fight against ALS, as Bedlack explains in the video.
"Blue cornflowers are the international symbol for the fight against ALS," Bedlack said. "Like patients with ALS, they look fragile, but they’re surprisingly strong. They can maintain their beautiful blue color even through the harshest of winters."
"A person with ALS, the disease may break them down on the inside, but they don’t lose the things that are most important as a person, their kindness, their love," he said. "Some of them even become stronger than they were before. They become unbelievable advocates for the disease."
The ties will be autographed and auctioned to fund research in honor of Jeff Capel Jr., who has ALS. He is the father of Duke Associate Head Coach Jeff Capel.