Normally, a letter to express appreciation of this magnitude would call for a hand-written note.   Unfortunately, I can no longer grip a pen and am writing this letter utilizing the only way possible for me, with my eyegaze technology.  I am writing to tell you how grateful and appreciative I am for your generous support of the inaugural Toledo Takes on ALS / Ales for ALS event in August.  This event wildly surpassed all of our most aggressive expectations, raising just under $300,000 for ALS research.  Early on in the planning process, I asked the folks at Ales for ALS what was the most amount of money raised at one of their events. The answer was $50,000.  Being the competitor that I am, I told them we would blow that away.  I expressed this level of confidence because growing up in Toledo, I knew this community would rise to the challenge.  The Toledo Takes on ALS event, in one year, is now the national standard for every event that follows.

Now, if I may, because I have not seen many of you in a while, let me catch you up on my progression.   I left the banking industry at year-end 2023 after 36 incredible years.  I am recently wheelchair confined and only able to take a few steps, with assistance.   I have very limited us of my arms and only Tracy can understand what the heck I am saying!  ALS is death by a thousand paper cuts. It is a constant loss of the ability to function physically.  What makes things worse, is that my mind is fully intact.  I am currently taking all the medications that are available to combat the disease, but best-case scenario, the current drugs might give you 2-3 more months. I did just start a new drug trial at the University of Michigan, so I am continuing to fight this with everything I have.   The reality is there is virtually no chance a cure will be found in my lifetime.  So why am I fighting so hard?  The answer is for you.  I pray to God that you or a loved one will never have to go through this.  As part of the drug trial, I am subjecting myself to many blood draws, physical tests and periodic spinal taps to harvest my cerebral spinal fluid.  It's completely voluntary, but I choose to do this in the hope to find a cure and make a difference for someone down the road.

The money raised last year will help to fund a new drug to go to trial for this disease and continue to collect data to understand the cause.  Continued support is needed to keep pushing this initiative ahead and to provide awareness of the impact of ALS.  Therefore, I wanted you to know we have decided there will be a second edition of the Toledo Takes on ALS / Ales for ALS event.  It will be held on Thursday, August 15th at Hensville.  Let's hope this event will not be on the hottest day of the year this time!  I understand there are other worthy causes out there and ALS is just one of the asks you will receive this year.  This cause is obviously personal to me, however before I was diagnosed, I did not understand the lack of funding for this disease and how many people, young and old, are affected.    Lou Gehrig was diagnosed in 1939, and although many diseases have made huge strides in understanding and treatment, ALS has largely not shown much advancement.    Personally, I feel called to continue this effort and, therefore, I am emboldened to ask for your support.  The sponsorship levels will be the same as last year and I appreciate any support you are able to provide.  Thank you.