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Welcome to the official Go Fund Me page for The Breast Foundation.
All donations are deposited directly into the Foundation account for immediate use.
Because the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, solely invested in medical research, all monetary donations are tax deductible.
Our Foundation has been conducting cancer research since 1977. The Sallie Astor Burdine Breast Foundation is a Not-for-Profit organization. All contributions are fully tax-deductible. (Tax I.D. #59-7800251) Please visit www.breastoncology.com to learn more about the work we do.
Thanks to extremely promising recent research gleaned from our experience with breast cancer, we have a groundbreaking opportunity to impact people’s lives suffering from ALS. Please join us in making medical history and forever improving the lives of those who suffer with ALS. And we have created this page to ask for your help.
What is ALS?
ALS was discovered and introduced to the public in 1869 by Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist. In 1939 Lou Gehrig brought not only national but international attention to the disease. Lou lost his battle with ALS in 1941, and often ALS is referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Scientifically, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The advanced degeneration of motor neurons in the body, from the brain to the spinal cord and further into muscles throughout the body eventually causes death of the neurons. As the motor neurons die, the brains ability to instigate control muscle movement is broken, leading to various stages of paralysis as the disease progresses.
ALS belongs to a wider group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases, which are caused by gradual deterioration (degeneration) and death of motor neurons. Motor neurons are nerve cells that extend from the brain to the spinal cord and to muscles throughout the body. These motor neurons initiate and provide vital communication links between the brain and the voluntary muscles.1
ALS accounts for 70% of the diagnosis’ made in the Motor Neuron Disease classification.
I want to ask you a question.
How many people do you know right now who have been diagnosed with ALS?
In all likelihood you know at least one person. It might be a friend of a friend, a neighbor or friend, a coworker, a member of your church or civic organization, or a member of your own family. Regardless of who it is, you know first-hand how devastating it is. According to the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center2, there are over 6 million Americans suffering from various neurodegenerative diseases. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences3 in 2016 reported similar numbers. ALS is part of this number, and it has no cure, no known way to prevent, and few treatments available that have any positive impact.
The NeuroDiscovery Center at Harvard projects without significant progress towards cures the number of Americans suffering from ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases will likely double by 2030. “Finding treatments and cures for neurodegenerative diseases is a goal of increasing urgency.” 4
As we age our risk of being affected by a neurodegenerative disease increases dramatically. Simply put, Americans are living longer, which means more of us may be affected by neurodegenerative diseases in the coming decades. There is a critical need to improve our understanding of what causes neurodegenerative diseases and to develop new treatments.5
Research isn’t a new endeavor at our Foundation, in fact, we have been conducting cancer research since 1977. Our study of mitochondria dysfunction in cancer led us to appreciate how it impacts neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS. Our research has involved non-toxic targeted therapy, cellular iron metabolism, cellular immunotherapy and cellular energy metabolism. But there is much yet to be accomplished to garner a possible gold ring in the fight against ALS which still have no cure.
The research in cellular metabolism led us to confirm Dr. Warburg’s research on mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer. That result showcased the disruption of cellular respiration and energy production in cancer cells.
We have used this research to develop a biotherapy with proof of principle in the disease ALS. If proven in human trials, it will improve people’s lives. This is where you come in!
We need your support to move this initiative forward. Development and regulatory costs are simply beyond our budget, but we are committed to the effort and we hope you will partner with us to reach our goal – a viable treatment for many Americans suffering from ALS. This is where you come in!
There is a great deal of work yet to be done, and the process requires funding to support additional research required, development, testing, and regulatory compliance. Simply put, the FDA trials will be expensive; however, the knowledge and impact of this research will be priceless for all patients and families facing the devastating diagnosis of ALS. This is where you come in!
There is no cure for ALS. And presently there are only four drugs are currently FDA-approved to treat various symptoms of ALS. ALS can strike at any age, but the average age of diagnosis is 55. Men are 20% more likely than women to develop ALS, and Military Veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS than others in the United States.
In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that between 14,000-15,000 Americans have ALS. ALS is a common neuromuscular disease worldwide. It affects people of all races and ethnic backgrounds.6 And according to the ALS Association, a little over 5,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS every year. Every day of the year 15 new cases are diagnosed. Further, every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with ALS and someone passes away from it.
Currently, it is estimated that at least 16,000 Americans have ALS at any given time.7
Once ALS symptoms begin, they generally progress and ultimately erases the ability to walk, dress, write, speak, swallow, and breathe, and shortening the life span.
On July 14, 2008 Congressman Henry Brown & Senator Lindsey Graham, both of South Carolina, applauded Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs James Peake's decision to make Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease,” a service-connected disability.
“I applaud Secretary Peake’s decision to make ALS a service-connected disability,” said Graham. “This devastating disease occurs in the military at more than twice the rate of the general population. The Secretary’s decision to find a service connection is justified and the right thing to do. This decision will provide much comfort to the military members suffering from this debilitating disease. I want to thank Henry Brown for his leadership on this issue, and General Mikolajcik for his service to our country and heroic stand on behalf of his fellow veterans.”
“Today’s decision by Secretary Peake is the culmination of a concerted effort to have veterans with ALS receive benefits they deserve from the VA,” said Brown. “A growing number of veterans, especially those who served during the first Gulf War, have been diagnosed with ALS, and there is a clear connection between ALS and military service. Veterans with ALS, such as Charleston’s Retired Brigadier General Thomas Mikolajcik, have shown the same determination in their fight for this change as they show in their fight against ALS. I was proud to stand beside them and Senator Graham in getting them the benefits that the evidence shows they deserve.”8
In 2014 the VHA issued its first Handbook related to ALS. This is important because it furthers the spotlight on ALS – not just in Military Personnel and Veterans but speaks to the larger issues surrounding ALS and those it directly impacts. Two primary references provided laid the foundation for much of the research undertaken in the past decade. “A study released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on November 10, 2006, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in Veterans: Review of the Scientific Literature, concluded that "there is limited and suggestive evidence of an association between military service and later development of ALS." Based upon this IOM study, and because ALS is a disease that progresses rapidly once diagnosed, VA designated ALS as a presumptively compensable illness for all Veterans with 90 days of continuously active service in the military. 38 CFR 3.318.”9
“Approximately 3,600 Veterans with ALS received care from VHA between FY 2005 and 2009 with 1,400 dying by the end of this period. On average, 1,520 Veterans with ALS are seen in VHA in any fiscal year. Since ALS is a presumptive service-connected disability, it is unknown how many new patients will come to VHA for care. The IOM study noted a 1.5-fold increased ALS incidence in Veterans suggesting an annual incidence rate of 4.5 per 100,000 Veterans, yielding an estimated annual incidence of 1,055 Veterans with new onset ALS and a possible Veteran prevalence of 4,220 given current life expectancy exceeding 3 years.”10
But the sad fact remains, there is no cure for ALS, and every day there are thousands of Americans suffering from its assault. There are many thousands of family members suffering each day as they watch ALS slowly and deliberately rob their loved one of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s now been 151 years since ALS was first known to us. Isn’t it time we stand up, stand together, and defeat ALS? This is where you come in!
There are many, many thousands of ALS stories across our great country. Hundreds if not thousands who are working on this issue, and thousands who wait every day for better news about treatment. Our extremely promising recent research has been used to develop a biotherapy with proof of principle in ALS. This is tremendous news in the fight against ALS. I go back to my initial invitation to you – please join us in making medical history and forever improving the lives of those who suffer with ALS.
I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to visit our page at GoFundMe.com. As our research moves forward, we will post updates here so you can track our progress on this journey.
If you would like more information about the Foundation and a copy of the Curriculum Vitae’s of both Dr. Jiang and myself, Robert L. Elliott, MD, Ph.D., D.Sc, please visit our website at www.breastoncology.com.