Matt Bellina was diagnosed with ALS in April of 2014, though he had shown symptoms of the disease as early as 2006. He graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2005 and received his commission into the US Navy. Following his symptom onset, Matt was grounded as a Naval Aviator and continued to serve the Navy in administrative duties. He was medically retired from the Navy in 2014 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Matt, his wife Caitlin, and their two young boys transferred back to the East Coast in order to be close to family and friends.
Matt is an active participant on the ALS Forum, an online message board created by the ALS Therapy Development Institute to connect people with ALS and the ALS research community to discuss the latest in research and any off-label approaches explored by people with ALS. He enrolled in the Institute's Precision Medicine Program in 2014.
In addition, he and his family are actively involved in funding ALS research through the ALS Champion Fund at UMass Medical.
Further, Matt's Mission, a program created by Newtown Athletic Club in Pennsylvania, has raised over $220,000 for research programs at the ALS Therapy Development Institute through the Augie's Quest Clubs for the Quest campaign.