Augie's Quest

Every dollar donated to goes directly to research to discover and develop treatments to end ALS.

ALS affects the lives of many and Jenny Craig has not been untouched. Augie Nieto, who is an operating advisor for North Castle Partners, has been living with the disease for over 12 years and Jenny Craig's Vice President of Operations, Lauren Witsenburg, lost her battle with ALS in 2013. There currently are limited treatments and no cure for this debilitating disease. Donate now online to help fight for the cause.

Lauren Witsenburg

In January 2013, Jenny Craig lost Lauren Witsenburg, our VP of Operations, after a year-long battle with an extremely aggressive case of ALS. She was a strong and courageous woman who inspired others to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Lauren’s drive to succeed was contagious, which made her a natural leader. Physical activity was a major part of her very active lifestyle, which made this particular disease even more difficult to accept as her muscles progressively stopped working.

Throughout Lauren's battle it became evident how difficult it is to diagnose ALS and that sourcing good equipment to prolong, and improve, the life of those with ALS is equally hard. This is surprising considering that there are as many as 30,000 people in the US living with this disease at any given time.

Leaving behind her son, husband, and a company full of people looking to her for guidance was Lauren's biggest fear and regret. In the face of her greatest challenge, she remained strong and helped us cope with her eminent passing. In November 2012, Lauren was honored to receive the Courage Award at the Tradition of Hope Gala. Even in her passing, Lauren remains an inspiration to remind us all that we can change the world. At Jenny Craig we change the world one life at a time through health and weight loss. We will further this mission through our partnership with to help fund ALS research.

Augie Nieto

A pioneer in the fitness industry, Augie co-founded Life Fitness, a manufacturer of cardiovascular and strength training fitness equipment, in 1980. Over the course of 20 years, he grew the company to be the largest commercial manufacturer of fitness equipment in the world. He joined North Castle Partners, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, CT, in 2001. NCP now owns Curves Jenny Craig.

Then in 2005, Augie's life took an unexpected turn; he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease. Inspired to share his story and change the landscape of ALS research, Augie along with his wife, Lynne, founded the Augie's Quest initiative in 2006.

Drawing strength from his family, friends, and a flood of supportive emails, Augie maintains a positive attitude and continues to lead an active life in southern California. He is currently on the board of North Castle Partners, and is the Chief Inspiration Officer and Chairman of the Board at the ALS Therapy Development Institute.

Witsenburgs and Nietos

Lauren & Hans Witsenburg and Lynne & Augie Nieto at the 2012 Augie’s Quest Tradition of Hope Gala