In just 21 days, CVS/pharmacy's ninth annual in-store fundraising campaign to support the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) brought in $4.1 million. The funds raised by the campaign will be donated to the Boston-based ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA) to support the funding of new clinical research aimed at developing new therapies for ALS patients and focused on the ultimate goal of finding a cure for ALS. This donation brings the total amount raised by CVS/pharmacy colleagues and customers for ALS research over the last nine years to more than $23 million.
For people like Treg Charlton, a 44-year-old CVS Caremark colleague who was diagnosed with ALS in March, every single $1 donation for ALS research means getting one step closer to finding a treatment or cure for this devastating disease.
Charlton, a husband and father of two young daughters, decided shortly after being diagnosed that he wasn't going to sit on the sidelines while ALS began causing damage to his body. He served as this year's honorary co-chair of the CVS/pharmacy Researching a Cure campaign and plans to stay active in advocating for funding for ALS research.
'It's the challenge of a lifetime, but also a tremendous opportunity to socialize the importance of pushing forward with ALS research to finally discover a cure for it, to deal with the disease in a positive manner and to share my love of life and my optimism for finding a cure, with others,' Charlton said.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a disorder in which there is progressive degeneration of motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord leading to paralysis and death, typically within three to five years. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which affects 25,000 Americans, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Jon Roberts, executive vice president of CVS Caremark and co-chair for the last nine years of CVS/pharmacy's Researching a Cure campaign, said, 'It is the courage and determination of people like Treg who put a face to this debilitating disease, that continue to motivate CVS/pharmacy, its colleagues and its customers to raise funds for ALS research. Having lost a loved one myself to ALS, it is tremendously gratifying to see the success of this year's campaign and to know that the funds raised are being applied to research conducted by the ALS Therapy Alliance.'
'The ALS Therapy Alliance board members are profoundly grateful to CVS/pharmacy for its ALS fundraising campaign as the results continue to have a significant impact on research,' said Robert Brown, Jr., D. Phil, M.D., Chair of the Dept. of Neurology at University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Dr. Brown added, 'By working with outstanding scientists at multiple centers around the world, we have facilitated trials of therapy in ALS, accelerated the identification of new ALS genes, advanced studies of the role of RNA pathology in ALS, pursued studies of stem cells as ALS research tools and investigated groundbreaking methodologies for silencing genes that make toxic poisons or toxic proteins that lead to neurodegeneration. We have also supported several ALS colloquia that bring together outstanding scientists from around the world. Only with continued funding can we continue this progress.'
The official check presentation of the $4.1 million raised by this year's CVS/pharmacy Researching a Cure campaign will take place prior to the Boston Red Sox versus Yankees game at Fenway Park this evening. Additionally, Charlton, accompanied by his wife Dianne and their daughters Audrey and Mia, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch to raise awareness about the importance of funding ALS research in order to find a cure for the disease.
About the ALS Therapy Alliance
The ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA) was founded in 2000 to provide a vehicle for a diverse group of scientists and clinicians to coordinate research related to ALS. The scientists involved in the ATA are affiliated with some of the best universities and medical centers in the greater Boston area, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard College, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston University and the University of Massachusetts. CVS Caremark is the largest corporate donor to the ALS Therapy Alliance.
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,100 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores. CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at info.cvscaremark.com.