SAN FRANCISCO, July 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tomorrow, Corey Reich, an ALS patient from Piedmont, California, will attend both the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball games this July 4th as a representative of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI). Corey will attend both baseball games to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral scleroses (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease) a neurodegenerative disease of which he suffers and for which there is no known cause or cure.
"My hope is that my presence at both games will help to put a new face on this disease by providing a personal connection to ALS," said Corey. "Although it is an orphan disease, I hope to bring larger public awareness and increased funding for research, which could speed up the discovery of therapies for people like me living with ALS."
Corey was diagnosed in July of 2007, but he had shown symptoms for several years prior. After his diagnosis, he returned to Middlebury College and graduated with honors in May of 2008. He currently is the assistant tennis coach for the Piedmont High School Men's and Women's Tennis Teams. Corey and his family have supported ALS TDI for the past 18 months and have raised more than $700,000 in that time. Fundraising events organized by "Corey's Crusaders" have included a cocktail party in the Vancouver, Washington area, a running race in Boise, a bake sale in Oakland, a dinner and dance also in Oakland, and another dinner and dance in Bronxville, New York. ALS TDI, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization and the largest research center dedicated solely to the development of therapeutics for this debilitating disease.
Corey's attendance at the Giants' and Angels' games coincides with the culmination of Major League Baseball's "4ALS Awareness" campaign. MLB is working with four leading organizations -- The ALS Association, ALS TDI, Augie's Quest (the Muscular Dystrophy Association's ALS research initiative) and Project A.L.S. -- whose primary goal is to find a cure for ALS. The initiative will culminate on July 4, 2009, which is the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. ALS destroys the nerve cells controlling muscles, ultimately causing complete paralysis. Average life expectancy is three to five years after diagnosis.
"Corey is an amazing and positive young man. He and his family have impacted us greatly at ALS TDI. We are very lucky to have an opportunity to know him and have his family's support for our work. It is heartbreaking that there is so little that can be done for young men and women like Corey today. That is unacceptable, and we must not stop until we have a better answer for all ALS patients," said Steve Perrin, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at ALS TDI.
Although Corey is a life-long Oakland Athletics fan, he and his father Ted, mother Wendy, and sister Clare, will take part in a pre-game celebration honoring Lou Gehrig and ALS patients that are currently battling the disease at the start of the San Francisco Giants game. Corey will then board a plane to Anaheim to arrive just before game time at the "Big A" to see the Angels play the Baltimore Orioles. At the Angels' game, Corey will again enter onto the field with other ALS patients to repeat a similar ceremony in the Angels' stadium and then spend the rest of the day with other ALS patients and advocates attending the game as well.
More information on Corey and his efforts can be found online at www.coreyscrusaders.alscommunity.org. The "4ALS Awareness" campaign is a joint effort between four ALS organizations; the ALS Association, the MDA/Augie's Quest, Project ALS, and ALS TDI. More information is available on the Official 4ALS Webpage at MLB.com; www.mlb.com/4als
About ALS TDI
The mission of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is to develop effective therapeutics that slow or stop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), as soon as possible. Focused on meeting this urgent unmet medical need, ALS TDI executes a robust discovery program, as well as a multi-pronged approach to validate potential therapeutics; including small molecules, protein biologics, gene therapies and cell-based constructs. The world's first non-profit biotech, ALS TDI has developed an industrial-scale platform that allows for the development and testing of dozens of potential therapeutics each year. Built by and for patients, the Institute is the world's only non-profit biotechnology company with more than 30 professional scientists. In addition, the Cambridge, Massachusetts based research Institute collaborates with leaders in both academia and industry. For more information, please visit us online at www.als.net.
Media Contact: Robert A. Goldstein, 617.441.7295, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Foundation