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We have some exciting news to share this month! As many of you know, our mission is both awareness and funding cutting-edge scientific research to find a treatment and eventual cure for ALS. Our warriors have excelled at raising awareness everywhere they go, which in turn has generated the financial support we need for funding a cure. Thanks to everyone's hard work and generous support, we have made our first research grant to The Les Turner ALS Research Laboratory at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. The grant, known as the Blazeman Post-Doc in ALS, provides two years of funding in the laboratory of Dr. Teepu Siddique and was awarded to Dr. Kaouther Ajroud, Ph.D. For more information, read the article below. This partnership would not have been possible without you - THANK YOU!!! On another medical note, we have also made a support grant available for the 4th Annual ALS/MND Nursing Symposium this September in Chicago, IL in conjunction with the Les Turner Foundation and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. This grant will allow a nurse to attend who would not otherwise be able to finance the trip. As Jon's caregiver and a nurse myself, I cannot stress how important this area is overlooked. I will also be in attendance and look forward to sharing our story as well as bringing awareness to our mission.
I am thrilled to share this news with you as we continuously work in support of our mission to raise awareness and resources in support of a cure for ALS. We're one step closer and, for that, I thank you.
Blazeman Foundation Dedicates First Research Grant to Northwestern University
The Blazeman Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow in ALS will advance cutting-edge research
With a recent two-year $100,000 commitment toNorthwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the Blazeman Foundation for ALS has issued their first research grant. In partnership with the Les Turner ALS Foundation, the Seekonk, Massachusetts-based organization will support the research of the Blazeman Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow in ALS.
Recently designated to fill the fellowship position, Kaouther Ajroud, PhD, will work in the Les Turner ALS Research Laboratory in the Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences under the leadership of Teepu Siddique, MD (photo, right), Les Turner ALS Foundation/Herbert C. Wenske Foundation Professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Ajroud's research will focus on a newly-identified gene associated with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." As the Blazeman Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow in ALS, she will continue to advance the laboratory's research while benefitting from advanced training in the neuromuscular disorder sub-specialty.
"We think Dr. Ajroud's research will have wide implications for this disease, including sporadic ALS," Dr. Siddique commented. "This gene and new targets identified in our genome-wide study in sporadic ALS lead us closer to pinpointing the causes of ALS, and ultimately, will lead to therapies to limit the effects of ALS."
On May 2, 2005, twenty-year Multi-Sport veteran Jon Blais a.k.a. "Blazeman" at age 33 was diagnosed with the fatal motor neuron disease ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Blazeman dubbed himself the "ALS Warrior Poet" and brought his battle to the big island of Hawaii on October 15th that year, where he became the first person with ALS to complete the Ironman World Championships. It was his last race. In 2006, a number of athletes, inspired by Jon's 2005 efforts, rolled across the finish line in Hawaii in honor of Jon and his battle against ALS. In 2007, the Blazeman Foundation for ALS expanded Team Blazeman, comprised of "Blazeman Warriors" who have committed to raising awareness and funding a search for a cure for ALS..."So Others May Live."
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