A Reunion Weekend to Inspire: Andrea Peet’s Brave Journey and Lessons Learned

Andrea Lytle Peet '03 completes 50 marathons in 50 states

In May, Andrea Lytle Peet '03 became the first person with ALS to complete 50 marathons in 50 states.

As Davidson College alumni gather to celebrate their reunions this weekend, the Class of 2003 will celebrate their 20th with a member whose brave race against ALS inspired a new documentary and book.

Andrea Lytle Peet ’03, her husband, David Peet ’05, and Political Science Professor Ken Menkhaus will join for a presentation that includes a short trailer from the documentary, Go On, Be Brave.

The film follows Andrea Peet’s journey as the first person with ALS to complete a marathon in all 50 of America’s states. The former runner achieved that goal in Alaska last year, working her way through rigorous courses on a recumbent trike.

Peet has also written a book, Hope Fights Back (Pegasus Books/Simon & Schuster), with Meredith Atwood. It will be released in September.

And save the date of Oct. 12 for a screening of the documentary at the college. Main Street Books will host an author event with Peet before the screening.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that afflicts an estimated 15,000 Americans. It’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Peet was first diagnosed in 2014; Menkhaus, the college’s C. Louis Nelson Political Science Professor, in 2018.

Both became advocates. Andrea and David Peet founded Team Drea, a non-profit that has raised more than a million dollars for ALS research. Menkhaus serves on the Board of Trustees for the ALS Association.

Their presentation, “Advocacy from a Different Angle: Life with ALS,” will be part of the reunion’s faculty-led classes. It will explore the challenges, refocused priorities and quest to make a difference while living with a terminal illness. It’s scheduled from 4-5 p.m. in Room 210 of the E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center.

“I cannot wait to see my classmates from Davidson,” Peet said. “When I saw everyone at our 15th reunion, I doubted that I would live long enough to make it to our 20th.  I am so grateful that I was wrong, and it just reminds me of how much of a gift it is to see them again.”

Additional Stories

Racing Time: Andrea Lytle Peet ’03 (Davidson Journal magazine)

Embracing Time: Professor Advocates for the Next Generation (Davidson Journal magazine)


June 2-4: Reunion Weekend 2023