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Bottoms Up to Down ALS

Teresa Thurtle

“Bottoms Up to Down ALS” brings friends & family together for good times to raise money for the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI)—a nonprofit biotechnology organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for ALS. We plan to host fundraisers in the form of happy hours, wine tastings and brewery tours, the annual Young Faces of ALS corntoss tournament, and much more!

This group was launched in 2013 by Teresa Thurtle and Kristin Quinn, who both became immediate friends when they found out each of their families carry the SOD1 gene mutation. More than 20 years ago, Teresa lost her paternal grandmother to the disease. Dianna, a devoted daughter, wife, mother, and friend, battled ALS for two years before it took her life. A die-hard baseball and Los Angeles Dodgers fan, Dianna enjoyed attending games with her family. This devotion to the Dodgers was passed on to her sons and grandchildren. Teresa’s father, Robert, was a family man and also diagnosed with ALS at a young age. A devoted son, husband, father, and friend, he enjoyed watching Dodgers baseball and listening to Vin Scully on the radio. After diagnosis, he lived with ALS for 10 short months, passing away in December 2011. Currently working on her Ph.D., Teresa is a member of the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard. Having served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Deep Freeze. Her commitment to end ALS is twofold: to save the lives of not only her direct family members, but her military family members as well. The Veterans Administration recognizes ALS as a service-related disease, as research shows those who have served are twice as likely to develop ALS compared with those who did not serve in the military. Continued research will hopefully reveal the cause of these staggering numbers.

“Bottoms Up to Down ALS” fights to find a cure for ALS so that no family will have to endure the pain and heartache that ours have gone through. Please join us in creating a D.C. community against ALS, and ultimately, a future free from the horror if this disease. We look forward to meeting you, hearing your stories of ALS and suggestions for the group, and conquering this beast together!

About ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a fatal neurodegenerative disease for which there is currently no known cause or cure. ALS attacks cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure and death. Someone is diagnosed with ALS every 90 minutes, and the disease can strike anyone, anywhere, at any age. Although most cases of ALS are sporadic, approximately 10% of ALS diagnoses are genetic. 

About ALS TDI: ALS TDI is the No. 1 ALS research lab in the world and has one urgent goal: to end ALS. TDI envisions a future where patients no longer die from ALS, and where today’s patients are alive, well, and enjoying the company of their families. TDI is committed to creating and leading a transparent and collaborative research process that involves ALS patients today and honors those whose journey with the disease has ended. TDI is guided by passion, love, and the spirit of entrepreneurship upon which the organization­­ was founded.

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