The Entertainment Tonight host is announced as spokesperson for 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
Photo taken by ALS patient and advocate, Anthony Carbajal.
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.
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 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.