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Amy Martin, Marketing & Communications Manager ([email protected])
The ALS Association Welcomes Three Indiana Leadership Council Members to Strengthen the Fight Against ALS
Indianapolis, IN, March 2023 – Strengthening its growing team, The ALS Association welcomes three new members to its Indiana Leadership Council: Logan Lawrence, Tom Burns, and Joe Garnett. Each brings a wealth of experiences and unique perspectives to the council, along with a passion for raising awareness, supporting patients and caregivers, and fighting ALS.
Logan Lawrence, a 24-year-old resident of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, brings over six years of experience in advocacy and fundraising for ALS awareness. Motivated by his grandfather’s battle with the neurodegenerative disease, Logan founded an annual ALS car show fundraiser at the age of sixteen. Now in its sixth year, the fundraiser benefits local services and resources in Indiana from The ALS Association and has raised over $190,000. Through these efforts, Logan has developed a deep commitment to improving resources, raising awareness, and rallying support for the ALS community.
“My grandfather went from diagnosis to passing in that same year,” recalls Logan. “It was quick and after he passed, I knew I wanted to help others in their fight with ALS as best I could.”
Tom Burns, retired, was the primary caregiver for his late wife, Kathryn, during her four-year battle with ALS. He brings with him first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing patients and caregivers. “All the clinics were great with Kathryn’s evaluation,” remembers Tom. “But for me? I had to learn a lot of things on my own. Until I got my hands on the caregiver binder.” The caregiver binder was created by Connie Houston, treasurer on the Board of Trustees for The ALS Foundation. It’s comprehensive guide that helps set expectations and explains necessary tasks for caregivers. Discovering the binder led Tom to the realization that availability of knowledge is critical for caregivers and that realization drives Tom’s goals as an ALS council member.
“I’d like to see more education and support for caregivers,” Tom says. “More classroom-style demonstrations on proper care for ALS patients.” He is committed to using his experience to help improve the lives of all those affected by ALS.
Joe Garnett, Senior Director of Marketing at BraunAbility, brings 28 years of experience in developing marketing strategy, establishing, and strengthening partnerships, and fostering disability advocacy. He has led initiatives with leading disability organizations including Paralyzed Veterans of America, Conquer Paralysis Now, and United Spinal Association, helping these organizations raise awareness, gain exposure, and advance their missions. He has a proven track record of forging strategic alliances, mobilizing key audiences, and driving real-world impact. Joe’s background will be instrumental in helping the ALS Association serve the needs of patients, caregivers, and broader communities.
“I know I can help The ALS Association achieve its mission,” says Joe. “I look forward to pushing my skills as far as I can to help support people living with ALS today. And I can’t wait to get to work.”
Says John Coyne, Managing Director of Engagement: “We are truly grateful for the time and talent our leadership council members share with The Association and the guidance they offer on how best to support those touched by ALS in Indiana. They are helping us do whatever it takes to make ALS a livable disease while we work to find a cure.”
The ALS Association is hopeful that the addition of Logan Lawrence, Tom Burns, and Joe Garnett to the council will help further its mission to serve, advocate for and empower people affected by ALS that they may live their lives to the fullest. They began their three-year terms on The ALS Association Board in January 2023, joining fellow Indiana Leadership Council members: Trent McBride (Chair), Mona Euler (Vice Chair), Manuel Ortiz Smith, Molly Cain, Geoff Davis, Derek French and Michael Soviak.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that afflicts approximately 16,000 people in the United States and a comparable number of patients in Europe. Approximately 5,000 new cases of ALS are diagnosed each year in the United States. The average life expectancy of an ALS patient is approximately three to five years after diagnosis and only approximately 10 percent of patients survive for more than 10 years. Death is usually due to respiratory failure because of diminished strength in the skeletal muscles responsible for breathing. Few treatment options exist for these patients, resulting in a high unmet need for new therapies to address functional deficits and disease progression.
About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the largest private funder of ALS research in the world. The Association funds global research collaborations, provides assistance for people with ALS and their families through a nationwide network of chapters and certified clinical care centers, and advocates for better public policies for people with ALS. The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while urgently searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit www.als.org.
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