Our friend Ted Harada passed away this week.
Many of you may have known him. Ted was first diagnosed with ALS in August 2010 and immediately became a tireless advocate, volunteer, and voice of the ALS community.
He had served on The ALS Association Board of Trustees and on the board of directors for the Georgia Chapter, devoting precious hours of his life to steering our Association in the right direction.
Ted spent his career working in logistics and transportation with FedEx Ground and DHL Express. So it’s no wonder that when presented with ALS, he did a masterful job of navigating through his journey with the disease.
Ted never missed an opportunity to make a difference.
In March 2011 and August 2012, he participated in clinical trials at Emory University, having neural stem cells injected into his spinal column to test the effectiveness of a potential therapy.
He always attended the National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference, held in Washington, D.C., meeting with members of Congress to advocate for increased research funding, and for benefits to get people living with the disease the best possible care where and when they need it.
Ted also testified with conviction at the first ever U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing on ALS to urge faster drug development and approval, and promoted the National ALS Registry wherever he went.
No matter what the issue, Ted was always willing to step in, using kindness and empathy as powerful engagement tools.
As if ALS wasn’t enough to deal with, Ted was diagnosed with an inoperable brain cancer, glioblastoma, earlier in 2016, which contributed to his death.
Through all this, Ted showed remarkable bravery, and was a self-described “family-man,” a loving husband to wife, Michelle, and their three children.
His presence, and his winning smile, made people feel good. His kindness, compassion and positive attitude were an inspiration to many, including me.
I would regularly connect with him for a “Ted talk.” He was truly a mentor, and helped me understand various perspectives of challenging issues.
Ted was truly a class act and he will most certainly be missed.
On behalf of The ALS Association, I offer our sincerest condolences to the Harada family, and to all the families with loved ones who’ve passed away from this terrible disease that I may not have had the pleasure to know personally.
Barb Newhouse, President and CEO
The ALS Association