Joseph Strauss via Crowdrise
March 10, 2013
BENEFITING: THE UMASS MEMORIAL FOUNDATION INC
ORGANIZER: THE UMASS MEMORIAL FOUNDATION INC
EVENT: 2013 Boston Marathon
Joe and I met at The University of Chicago 25 years ago. Given the bond that we formed as freshmen in college, it's not surprising that we have remained good friends to this day. What we would never have guessed is that we would share the indescribable pain of losing a family member to ALS - also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease. In 1999 Jean Strauss, Joe's mom, died as a result of ALS - 1 year from the date of her diagnosis. In 2006, my cousin, Sheila Ong, succumbed to ALS - 18 months from her diagnosis.
So when the New York City marathon was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, Joe sent me a text and asked what I thought about him running the Boston Marathon for charity. And so our collaboration to raise money to find a cure for ALS began.
Joe and I are looking forward to a celebration of Jean and Sheila's lives on April 15, 2013 at the Boston Marathon. We hope that with your support, Joe's (hopefully) good knees, and my sign-making & cheering efforts, we will be able to help Dr. Robert H. Brown Jr. and his team at UMass Medical Center find a cure for ALS sooner rather than later. Together, we hope to raise $6,000 or more for the UMass ALS Champion Fund. Please be a part of this great cause by making a donation!
It's easy to donate by clicking the "Donate" button on the right or, if you prefer, you may also send checks directly to the UMass ALS Champion Fund. Checks should be made payable to the UMass ALS Champion Fund and please write Joe Strauss and Boston Marathon on the check. Checks should be mailed or delivered to:
The UMass Medicine Development Office
333 South Street
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
Thank you for your donations and support!
Elise Loukas & Joe Strauss
The UMass ALS Champion Fund:
In recognition of the critical need for new treatments for ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the UMass ALS Champion Fund is a movement to drive awareness and funding for the ALS breakthroughs happening at UMass Medical School (UMMS) and in the laboratory of Robert H. Brown, Jr., DPhil, MD one of the world’s leading and most promising ALS researchers.
The Champion Fund aims to help Dr. Brown and his colleagues pursue ALS research leads and breakthroughs right now that might otherwise take years to attract funding from traditional sources. As a result, this Fund will make researchers at UMMS better prepared to “seize the moment” when highly promising ALS discoveries are made.
UMMS and Dr. Brown are being joined in this effort by former Governor of Massachusetts and Ambassador to Canada, A. Paul Cellucci. Governor Cellucci announced in January 2011 that he has been diagnosed with ALS and is being treated at UMMS by Dr. Brown. News of Cellucci’s diagnosis sparked an outpouring of support from friends and colleagues across the Commonwealth and the country, including fellow former governors and other elected officials. Governor Cellucci has chosen to use his story as a catalyst to support ALS research at Massachusetts’ public Medical School.
“I am proud to continue my career in public service by leading the UMass ALS Champion Fund,” said Cellucci. “A champion helps to deliver great victories, and Dr. Brown is a true champion of ALS research. But, victories are a team effort. Dr. Brown and his colleagues at UMass Medical School need our support.”
Dr. Brown is widely recognized as a pioneer in neurodegenerative disease research and for 30 years has dedicated his career to unlocking the secrets of ALS, a degenerative disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness, leading to paralysis and eventually death. There is currently no treatment to stop or reverse ALS. Brown has been a leading visionary for ALS treatment and part of nearly every fundamental ALS breakthrough to-date, including the identification of mutations in a gene that is responsible for the rare, familial form of the disease. Brown’s work has opened a window into ALS that has drastically changed the research landscape and provided patients and loved ones touched by ALS with something very rare: hope.
The Champion Fund aims to extend and supplement the already great fundraising initiatives benefiting UMMS. Dr. Brown and team has been fortunate to receive support from a diversity of groups, including the Massachusetts-based Angel Fund and national partner CVS Pharmacy, both of which have been raising money for UMMS and acting as champions in the fight against ALS for more than 10 years. The Champion Fund will complement and extend those funding sources to augment the overall effort.
Now is the time. There is hope. But, victories are a team effort. Join us – become a champion and help fight back against ALS.
Learn More at http://www.umassals.com/
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