Oct 31, 2014 at 03:36 PM

Beverly Hills Courier - Augie's Quest Traditions of Hope Gala 2014

By Jos� Cofi�o

Reprinted from The Beverly Hills Courier. October 31, 2014. www.bhcourier.com

Beverly Hills Courier - Augie's Quest Traditions of Hope Gala

Augie’s Quest Gala Raises $900,000 For ALS Research At The Beverly Hilton

By Laura Coleman

This year’s annual Tradition of Hope Gala, which was held Saturday evening at The Beverly Hilton, raised over $900,000 for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research.

At the event, Courage Award winner José Cofiño, who was diagnosed with ALS three years ago and subsequently became a spokesperson for the cause said he felt “lucky” that being diagnosed with a disease for which there is no cure segued into him knowing what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“Out of adversity, comes opportunity,” he said.

Beverly Hills Courier - Augie's Quest Traditions of Hope Gala
Courage Award winner Jos� Cofi�o, Augie Nieto and Lynne Nieto

Roughly a quarter of the 30,000 people living in the U.S. with ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, die every year.

Augie Nieto - Leader in Fight Against ALS

Funds raised from Saturday’s gala, the 9th annual event presented by Augie’s Quest, will fund the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world’s largest ALS-dedicated drug development organization.

Augie’s Quest, an aggressive, cure-driven effort singularly focused on treatments and cures for those diagnosed with ALS, is named for its founder, Augie Nieto, a pioneer in the fitness industry who received an ALS diagnosis in March 2005 and began the fight of his life. As co-founder and president of Life Fitness, Nieto was one of the most successful innovators and entrepreneurs in his field.

Personalized Medicine Program at ALS-TDI

Today, there is more hope than ever before for curing this hereto incurable disease. Using technology to individualize treatment in conjunction with advances made from mapping the human genome and growing stem cells, researchers are on the cusp of personalized treatment solutions.

The average life span after being diagnosed with ALS is three-to-five years, although there are people who live decades with the crippling neu- rological disease, such as Stephen Hawking. Over time, ALS patients lose functionality in their limbs while still remaining aware and feeling.

“People have described it as being almost a rag doll,” Cofino said about the future he is now facing. "You're just trapped inside your body."

For more information, visit www.augiesquest.org.

Posted in Overcoming Adversity.