My Experience with ALS
I am very proud to be a supporter of Augie’s Quest. I’ve had the honor of hearing Augie Nieto speak a few times. Well, I should backtrack; I heard Augie speak twice and the times thereafter, I heard his words spoken from a computer generated voice system. Augie has ALS and is no longer able to speak, walk, eat or even breathe without assistance. However, his brilliant mind is running on all cylinders and he’s been crazy effective in the fight to find the cure for ALS by incorporating fundraising, streamlining methods of research and being the beacon of hope for all those with ALS.
I am connected to Augie and his Quest through our common industry, the fitness world. I am also connected to Augie and ALS through my brother, Leo. In fact the two threads started about the same time. In 2006, I was attending the International Health Racquet Sports Association (IHRSA) convention where Augie was speaking about ALS and his foundation to find the cure. It’s known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, but it will be known as Augie Nieto’s cure. While as I at the conference, Leo was at the Mayo Clinic receiving his diagnosis of ALS. During Augie’s presentation, he told us how and when he received his diagnosis from his doctor. While I was listening to Augie describe the moment he received his diagnosis of ALS, Leo was receiving the same diagnosis from his medical team.
Augie battled depression after first receiving his diagnosis and at his lowest point he decided to fight and find a new purpose and cure. Since that time, he’s been unstoppable in his quest for the cure. With his keen business knowledge and networking skills, traits which ALS could not touch, Augie has been one of the leading fundraisers to find a cure.
As I walked out of the seminar, tears rolled down my face much like many others who were in attendance. It was a sad and inspiring seminar and touched an emotional nerve in all of us. However, my tears were for my brother Leo. Not having yet heard of Leo’s official diagnosis, I knew in my heart he had ALS. At a time of feeling completely helpless, I was grateful to have heard Augie’s story. I now had a connection and understanding to Leo and what he was experiencing.
I have had the honor of meeting Augie and his wife Lynne. I told them about my brother and I thanked them for sharing their journey and bringing hope to the horror. Augie smiled and his smile spoke volumes. He autographed a copy of his book and included a personal note to Leo. At a time when my brother was hurting and wrapping his mind around his diagnosis, I was able to give him a gift of hope in the form of a book. And moreover, in our shared influence of a man set out to conquer ALS.
Asking for help is not one of my strengths, however, it’s required as we need an army of people to find this cure. My brother lost his fight with ALS 5 years ago. In his memory and with his inspiration, I use my voice, legs and breadth for those who are losing these basic abilities to ALS. I invite everyone to help make a difference.
Please join us in these fun fitness events.
Insanity and PiYo Workout.
Wednesday Nov 19th, 6 pm
The Alaska Club West
Yogafest (Adult yoga class and separate Youth Yoga class at same time)
Thursday Dec 18th, 6pm
The Alaska Club South
Executive Director of Group Fitness, Fitness Programming and Family Recreation
The Alaska Club
13 years with The Alaska Club
20 years as a certified Personal Trainer
31 years as a certified group fitness instructor