That is our goal. That is the single reason the Blazeman Foundation exists. And it is with that goal in mind that we are extremely proud to announce our renewed commitment to the research that is working to find the cure...so others may live.
Today, there is no cure available and only one treatment option that has not shown to be clinically significant in slowing the progress of this neurodegenerative disease in its early stages. ALS patients and their families are denied battle tools similar to those offered to patients with cancer or heart disease. But beyond the limits of today is the promise of tomorrow. The promise of significant disease treatments for those affected by ALS lies at the heart of academic medical centers-by funding medical research, so that others may live longer, healthier lives.NU Logo
Together with your support, our foundation has wielded a
mighty weapon in the war on ALS, spreading awareness and raising funds to support research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Last year, the Foundation funded the Blazeman Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in the laboratory of Teepu Siddique, MD, Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Foundation Professor at Northwestern University. To continue these efforts and advance additional investigations,
the Blazeman Foundation for ALS has recently committed to fund the fellowship through 2012 and has provided an additional grant, dedicated to further Dr. Siddique's research into a new approach to therapy for ALS.
In total, the Blazeman Foundation for ALS has committed approximately $300,000 to Northwestern University.
siddique 1To gather additional information to fight this largely mysterious, fatal disease, Dr. Siddique will study the inherent biological differences and similarities in the motor neurons involved in ALS. Using exciting new technology, Dr. Siddique and his team will engineer motor neurons from pluripotent cells obtained from patients' own skin fibroblasts, the cells that comprise most connective tissue. Conducting a handwriting analysis of sorts, Dr. Siddique and his colleagues will examine these motor neurons to study the differences apparent in their molecular signatures, noting whether patterns or consistencies exist based on neurons from patients with early onset and late onset ALS, familial or sporadic ALS, and rapidly or more slowly progressing ALS. According to Dr. Siddique, "A better understanding of these inherent biological variations could form the basis of therapy in which disease onset is postponed, or progression is greatly slowed, or both."
In deciding to support this revolutionary research, Bob and Mary Ann Blais knew that Dr. Siddique's laboratory at the Feinberg School of Medicine was the best place to look for greater understanding, and ultimately, answers. With one of the largest ALS patient databases in the nation, the laboratory is well equipped to undertake this study.
"After personally meeting with Dr. Siddique and his team, we feel very confident his approach to understanding this horrific disease is consistent with what Jon wanted. Jon believed that a true understanding of this disease would lead to treatment modalities and, eventually, a cure," the Blais family recently shared.
This is an example of your donations in action. Through your efforts, we continue to fight the War On ALS...and as Jon requested, with "cutting edge research"..."so others may live".
On behalf of myself, my family and the Foundation, I thank you again for your friendship and continued support.
In Strength and Honor,
Blazeman Foundation for ALS