Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS for short, is a progressive disease that causes nerve cells to degenerate. The disorder causes muscle weakness and atrophy throughout the body. Affected individuals may ultimately lose the ability to initiate and control all voluntary movement. Eventually most people with ALS are not able to stand or walk, get in or out of bed on their own, use their hands and arms, or communicate. In later stages of the disease, individuals have difficulty breathing as the muscles of the respiratory system weaken. (For more information, read this from the ALS Association.)
Augustine Nieto, Augie, was diagnosed with ALS after pioneering indoor cardio. Instead of resigning, he used his legendary status in the fitness world and savvy marketing skills to start Augie’s Quest. Augie’s Quest is a foundation within the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), dedicated to finding a cure for ALS.
The annual Tradition of Hope Gala raises over a million dollars each year for Augie’s Quest. My little sister in Gryphon Circle, Katrina, was asked to volunteer for the event because she will be interning with the MDA in the spring. Lucky for me, they needed all the volunteers they could get, and she brought me along!
The event was a stunning success. I am still astounded by the generosity shown by all the attendees and the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers. I am so humbled to have been a part of it all and to have been part of a great effort to cure ALS.