ALS took one of the sweetest people who ever walked this earth. I want to do whatever I can to stop it from taking somebody else’s loved one. ALS.net is a true partner in this fight, and I am honored to call myself a spokeswoman. -- Nancy O'Dell
Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) August 06, 2015
ALS.net announced today that Nancy O'Dell, host of Entertainment Tonight, joined the organization as an official spokeswoman in an effort to help raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease without a cure or effective treatment, and in which the average patient survives only two to five years following his or her diagnosis.
Advocating for ALS awareness and research funding is very personal for O’Dell. Her mother, Betty, was diagnosed with ALS in November 2007, and she passed away from complications related to the disease in June 2008. In addition, O’Dell was inspired by Augie Nieto and his battle against ALS and began advocating for Augie’s Quest, an affiliate of ALS.net, in 2009. Today, she hopes to continue to bring help and hope to all those affected by the disease.
As spokeswoman, O’Dell is focused on building awareness of the work of ALS.net, a global network of affiliates who are working tirelessly towards a cure for ALS. ALS.net exclusively funds the ALS Therapy Development Institute, ALS.net’s Massachusetts-based laboratory, a nonprofit biotech that is 100% focused on ALS research. Last year, the Institute directly received $4 million via the Ice Bucket Challenge, and it spent all of the funds on research programs with the best opportunities to make an impact to end ALS. O’Dell feels strongly about aligning herself with an organization that shares her commitment and urgency to find effective treatments and a cure for ALS.
One of O’Dell’s first undertakings as a spokesperson for ALS.net will be participating in the 2015 Ice Bucket Challenge, teaming up with ALS patient, Anthony Carbajal, on building momentum around the campaign. She plans to enlist the support of celebrity friends around the country in this year’s challenge, which promises to be bigger and better by those including Ice Bucket Challenge co-founders, Pete Frates and Pat Quinn.
"I want to humanize ALS so people understand how it affects people living with the disease, their families and their friends," says O’Dell. "ALS took one of the sweetest people who ever walked this earth. I want to do whatever I can to stop it from taking somebody else’s loved one. ALS.net is a true partner in this fight, and I am honored to call myself a spokeswoman."
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cure for the disease. About 5,000 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year; the incidence is similar to multiple sclerosis. However, with no effective treatment, the average patient survives only 2-5 years following diagnosis. The worldwide population of ALS patients is estimated at 450,000.
ALS.net is the global network dedicated to funding research into developing effective treatments on the path to a cure for the ALS community. It is a group of like-minded people, families, foundations, and companies using grassroots techniques and social technologies to advance our mission to end ALS. By connecting and working together, building awareness, and sharing our stories, we can drive funding to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the world's first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100% on ALS research. For more information, visit http://www.als.net.
About Nancy O’Dell
Named one of Television Week's 10 Most Bankable Stars in Syndication, Emmy Award-winning entertainment journalist Nancy O'Dell has proven to be a force in all areas of her career as a host, author, producer and entrepreneur. One of the country's most respected and leading entertainment journalists, O'Dell is the co-host of the most watched entertainment news program in the world, Entertainment Tonight, and is now a Doctor. In May of 2013, her alma mater, Clemson University, awarded Nancy an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
In addition to her work with ET, O’Dell has contributed reports to CBS This Morning, NBC’s Today show and Dateline. She is executive producer and host of Celebrities at Home on HGTV.
Prior to her role as spokesperson for ALS.net, O’Dell served as National Vice President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the ALS National Ambassador. Additionally, O'Dell was inducted into the American Red Cross's National Celebrity Cabinet in 2002 and remains in that position today, and she also serves as a celebrity spokesperson for the March of Dimes (MOD). Further, she acts as an international board member for Best Buddies, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.