TODAY Show Participates in Challenge Me with Pie-In-Your-Face Challenge

TODAY hosts Savannah Guthrie and Jenna Bush Hager took part in The ALS Association’s Challenge Me campaign by taking the pie #InYourFaceALS challenge.

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“It’s actually been five years since the Ice Bucket Challenge swept the country. Can you believe it?” Bush Hager said.

“There’s a brand-new social campaign to raise money and awareness for ALS called Challenge Me,” she added.

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Challenge Me to Change the Fight Against ALS Forever

By Pat Quinn and Pete Frates
Co-Founders, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Five years ago, we challenged our friends and family to dump buckets full of ice over their heads to raise awareness and funds for ALS. The rest is history. This year, we have a new message: Challenge Me.

What started as a crazy idea turned into the biggest movement in the history of medicine. Over the next few weeks athletes, celebrities, politicians, families and friends around the world took the Challenge and changed the fight against ALS forever. In the summer of 2014, over 17 million people took the Ice Bucket Challenge and raised over $220 million for ALS organizations.

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Challenging Youth to Join the Fight

The ALS Association is launching a campaign to engage kids and teenagers in the fight against ALS, issuing the ALS Youth Challenge and celebrating the first-ever ALS Youth Action Day.

Our chapters across the country will be partnering with youth organizations in their communities to identify future activists and philanthropists who will help to defeat ALS by accepting the ALS Youth Challenge.

On May 19, we will recognize the first annual ALS Youth Action Day, a day where kids can set aside time to take the ALS Youth Challenge, raise money and awareness for the fight against ALS, and spread the word on social media.

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Guest Post: Love Changes Everything

By Lorene Lee
Living with ALS since 2010

This is the fifth in a series of posts from people living with ALS who are featured in our #VoiceYourLove campaign. Lorene composed this message using assistive communication technology with a visual-tracking system. She typed the words, one letter at a time, using her eyes.


In my first attempt to write this letter to you, I had written a few paragraphs on my marriage and life. But later, I got to thinking it sounded just like any other couple, going through the usual everyday problems. The next morning, I was going to change everything. When I got to my device, it was erased. What happened is beyond me. This is a problem I sometimes face with this computer. So I will begin again with what I really want to express.

When I first met Tony in 1982, he really helped me to blossom (he does not acknowledge it- but it is the truth)! My husband Tony and I have been married for 32 years and raised our two children, Andrea and Brian, together. Our home is my sanctuary and I am happy that we have had so many happy memories here. Like when my daughter came tearing down the sidewalk in her Big Wheel, at age 5. And when our son got in serious trouble around age 6, with tears flowing, he sobbed and said, “Don’t kick me out! I need a place to live, too!”.

Fast forward to getting them ready for prom nights and having so many family and friend gatherings. There is a lot of heart around my house.

When I was first diagnosed with ALS in 2010, I knew it was going to be serious because of all the different tests I took. So, in a sense, I was prepared for bad news. It was Tony that took it so hard. He had lost both his sister and his father earlier that same year, and we were also caring for his 16 year-old niece. It was an unbelievable time in our story.

By 2012, I had lost my ability to speak and now rely on a speech-generating device with an eye-tracking system to communicate.
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Guest Post: Cherish Every Moment with Those You Love

By Miles McConnell
Living with ALS since 2015

This is the fourth in a series of posts from people living with ALS who are featured in our #VoiceYourLove campaign.


This time of year brings memories of two important days in my life.

The first memory is from February 13, 1999, the day I proposed to my incredible wife, Dubie. We had first connected upon the strong suggestion of my best friend, who said that there was a girl that I had to meet that day. He was right and ever since I did, I was sure that we would be together forever.

After a few years of dating, the time finally came to make it permanent. I asked her to join me on our favorite hike, but (for reasons I will reveal later), I had to cancel at the last minute. We made the same plan for the next day, yet again, I needed to cancel. The following day, I attempted again but Dubie said she was “busy”. I did my best to convince her otherwise but she had had enough of my cancellations. I was left with no choice but to go to her office and tell her that I wasn’t going to leave until she said she would at least have dinner with me that evening in my San Francisco apartment. Finally, much to my relief, she relented.

We had dinner, during which I tried to lighten the mood by steering the conversation toward “Remember when…” and talked about funny and memorable moments we had shared. After dinner, I made dessert and to my surprise upon returning to the living room, she had turned on the TV and was falling asleep! I woke her up with dessert and an orchid plant to which I tied a wax mold of a ring I had designed for her. It took her a few moments to realize what was happening. By then, I was down on one knee, and proposed. She cried, said yes, and that was the beginning of our incredible adventure together.

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Guest Post: ALS Can Not Take Away My LOVE

By Nanci Ryder
Living with ALS since 2014

This is the third in a series of posts from people living with ALS who are featured in our #VoiceYourLove campaign.

Nanci Ryder, a renowned Hollywood publicist and co-founder of BWR Public Relations, was diagnosed with ALS in 2014. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness about ALS, and to advance the search for effective treatments and cures for ALS, with the help of her many friends and supporters. Along with her family and friends, like Renée Zellweger and Courteney Cox, she has participated in the Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS as “Team Nanci”, raising over $690,000 in support of the ALS community. She has received many awards for her awareness and fundraising efforts, including from the Publicists Guild, The ALS Association, and The ALS Association Golden West Chapter.

The following is Nanci’s 2018 ALS Hero Award acceptance speech at the LA Walk to Defeat ALS. It was read by her friend, Don Diamont from CBS’ The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, as Nanci is no longer able to speak on her own.


Wow… it is times like this that I really, truly miss cursing out loud.  But since this is a family-friendly event, it is probably best for all that I cannot.

After four years of living with ALS, there are many things I cannot do now.  But there are many that I can.

I can imagine… no… I can remember what it was like to say my own words, to move when I wanted, to taste coffee, to laugh out loud. I can feel the itch on my nose that needs to be scratched by another’s hand. And I can hear the voice of the first person who started to speak slower to me, as if I was hard of hearing.  They were lucky that I can no longer throw things at them.

They don’t call ALS progressive and devastating for nothing.

But I also can remember how awestruck I was when people gathered around me in support…  can feel the warmth when I look at the faces of so many people cheering at me for being “brave” – can hear the words from friends and even strangers telling me, “You are not alone.”

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Guest Post: #VoiceYourLove for the People Who Matter Most

By Ryan Farnsworth
Living with ALS since 2015

A sad update about #VoiceYourLove ambassador Ryan Farnsworth: It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Ryan Far died the evening of February 19, surrounded by his family. As active ambassadors of The ALS Association’s mission and vision, Ryan and his family selflessly moved us closer to our vision to create a world without ALS. Read more here.

This is the second in a series of posts from people living with ALS who are featured in our #VoiceYourLove campaign. You can learn more about Ryan’s work as a writer, poet, inspirational speaker, and personal reflections as a person with ALS through his blog/YouTube Channel and through his book of poetry, “Seeds of Light Sown“.


Like many people, I used to think of myself as a sum of many integrated experiences, interests, and relationships. I’m a son, a brother, a nephew, and a friend. I am a writer, a poet, and an inspirational speaker. I am a lover of nature and meditation, a singer of songs, and a student of the world. I am also a person living with ALS.

I was diagnosed with ALS in 2015 at the age of 29. Since that time, I have been on quite a personal journey. The physical limitations of living with the disease are challenging. But, in my opinion, it is the emotional and mental components that are the true tests.

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