Faces of ALS

The Faces of ALS

Life is a series of pulls back and forth… A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match… Which side wins? Love wins. Love always wins.”

― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

Faces of ALS in Video

Matt & Jess OnyshkoMatt and Jess Onyshko

When Pittsburgh firefighter Matt Onyshko was diagnosed with ALS, he and his wife made a very important decision: To live live to the fullest with joy and gratitude.

Chris Rosati's Krispy Kreme dream come true.Chris Rosati’s Krispy Kreme dream come true

When 42-year-old Chris Rosati was diagnosed with ALS, he came up with an unusual plan to spread cheer: steal a donut truck and give away its contents. Steve Hartman found that Krispy Kreme not only supported Rosati’s plan, they helped him pull it off.

Pearl Jam and Steve GleasonPearl Jam and Steve Gleason

A touching story of New Orleans Saints Special Teams legend, Steve Gleason. Now battling ALS, Gleason interviews his favorite band, Pearl Jam, and discusses his connection to the music as it pertains to his life and his relationship with his son, River.

Brian and LindsayBrian and Lindsay

This is the story of Brian and Lindsay Schnurstein.

Bruce Edwards Classic Golf TournamentBruce Edwards Classic Golf Tournament

Every year celebrities, athletes,  friends and family gather to celebrate Bruce Edwards’ life and honor his wish to someday find a cure for the disease that stole him away.

The Long GoodbyeThe Long Goodbye

A family’s journey with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. “It began with a benign fall while taking the trash out one morning before heading to work…”

Susan Spencer-WendelALS diagnosis inspires family to live ‘magical year’

Award-winning journalist Susan Spencer-Wendel was in her prime when she got a devastating diagnosis: ALS, sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Knowing she only had a few years to live, she and her family started tackling all the items on her bucket list.

Louis DigiacomoThe Louis Digiacomo Story

Battling with ALS, Louis Digiacomo allows a look into his life, his struggle, his family and his drive to never give up.

Steve GleasonThe Steve Gleason Story

claire-collier-vidAn Act of Fairness – Claire Collier

Facing ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a challenge that requires courage beyond anything we can imagine. Claire Collier not only had the courage to face this terrible disease, she became a national advocate taking her fight all the way to Washington to change laws and improve lives.

O.J. BriganceO.J. Brigance: Heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens

The simple act of holding a football is no longer possible for the man who’s the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens. Shortly after retiring from football, O.J. Brigance was stricken with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. Rather than hide from the limelight, Brigance persevered and has become an inspiration to his team and their millions of fans.

Louis DigiacomoNFL Players & Coaches stand together to cure ALS

ALS affects any race or gender, profession or creed. Players & Coaches from the NFL are standing together to find a cure.

Young Faces of ALS

The YFALS Campaign was created by a small group of people living with ALS today who all share a disturbing characteristic – they all received their diagnosis before their 30th birthday. Most emphasis on ALS is placed on those that develop the disease during midlife, and before YFALS there was no national public recognition of the youth battling ALS. The campaign was created as a community for young patients of ALS as well as young family and friends affected by the disease.


Kristen SauerKristen Sauer

Waupun, Wisconsin

  • Diagnosed with ALS in 2001 at 24 years old
  • She was told that she was pregnant the same day that she was told she had ALS
  • Owns/operates a successful DVD transfer business from home, despite having lost her ability to speak

I was just beginning a new stage in my life as a wife and mother when ALS cut me off at the knees.”

Corey ReichCorey Reich

Piedmont, California

  • 24 year old ALS Patient
  • Diagnosed at age 21
  • Currently the assistant tennis coach for Piedmont High School (video tribute)
  • Raised $1 million for research

For 70 years Lou Gehrig has been the face of ALS. Sadly, in that time, not a single effective therapeutic has been discovered and most Americans know little to nothing about the disease. It is time to put a new, younger, face on the disease. I hope to be that face, and raise not only awareness, but also the funding necessary to put an end to ALS.”

Melissa EricksonMelissa Erickson

Seattle, Washington

ALS is a disease that doesn’t draw much attention because it is perceived as your grandfather’s disease. A sickness that affects a man that has lived a full life. It is quite the opposite. It touches the lives of young people every day. This debilitating, cruel and inhumane disease deserves your attention. We deserve a cure.”

Ian HoggIan Hogg

Birmingham, Alabama

  • 28 year old ALS Patient
  • Diagnosed upon return from Iraq War at age of 26
  • US Marine Corp. Sergeant
  • Married with two young daughters
  • Eager to take an active role as advocate for ALS research
  • Working through connections to get to testify before Congress

When I returned home from Iraq I thought I was done fighting. Now, I am fighting for my life against an enemy that has been killing for over 70 years. We cannot win this fight alone. I am dedicated to seek out anyone who will stand by us as we wage war on this deadly disease.”

Alyssa ReardonAlyssa Reardon

Plantation, Florida

  • 24 year old ALS patient
  • Diagnosed at age 20
  • Pictured with sister and two brothers (she is second from the right)
  • Involved in MDA and ALS Association
  • Designed women shoes called “Red Alerts” as well as men and women Scrubs which raise awareness for ALS and proceeds go to the ALS Clinic at Emory

I was 20yrs old, NOT even legally allowed to drink alcohol, but I was allowed to be diagnosed with a terminal illness without hope! Doesn’t seem right does it? People are being diagnosed with ALS younger and younger everyday. If we do not find a cure soon, forget about saving money for your child’s college fund, your daughter’s wedding or your own retirement. You’re going to need every penny for their medical expenses, making your house accessible for someone who is in a wheelchair, hospital bed etc. In this economy millions have lost their jobs and health insurance. ALS without insurance=BANKRUPTCY! Help us stop this disease before it becomes an epidemic!”

Alex GrausnickAlex Grausnick

Shoreview, Minnesota

  • 20 year old ALS patient
  • Diagnosed at age 17
  • Involved in several ALS fundraisers
  • Student at University of St. Thomas

When I first got diagnosed it was a smack right in the face. I went from wondering what I would do that summer to wondering if I would even go to college. But I’ve read a lot about the effects of positive thinking, and it’s helped make me feel better.”

Megan MishorkMegan Mishork

San Francisco, California
Born 1986, Died 2011

  • Diagnosed with ALS at age 23
  • Went to Washington, DC to speak to Congress
  • Involved with the ALS Association Orange County Chapter
  • Ambassador for the Young Faces of ALS
  • ALS runs in her family
  • Traced back at least five generations

My last uncle died just 3 years ago”, she shared. “It has not skipped a generation in our family from as far back as we have researched.”

Timothy LaFolletteTimothy LaFollette

Greensboro, North Carolina
Born 1979, Died 2011

  • Diagnosed at age 28
  • ALS runs in his family
  • Recently married to Kaylan
  • Former musician with several well known hardcore bands
  • Organized more than 1000 friends into the “Often Awesome Army” to provide support and to advocate
  • Memorial video

The truth is that I can finally accept what life has dished out and honestly say that I am nothing but happy with what it gave me. I am so thankful. Grateful.”

Michael Winston Michael Winston

Mendota Heights, Minnesota

  • 26 year old ALS Patient
  • Diagnosed in 2008 at the young age of 24
  • Inspired by Michael, friends and family created Winning for Winston (W4W), a fundraising group dedicated to raising funds for ALS
  • W4W has raised $300k+ for ALS Advisor to W4W and dedicates time to raising funds for ALS

After many tests the doctor said, ‘With these results, I would say you have Lou Gehrig’s disease but you are too young for that.’ He sent me to Mayo Clinic.”