Two brothers will travel across the U.S. to raise money for Project ALS to support a project testing a promising drug in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Mike Devlin, a 27-year-old ultramarathon runner, will begin his 100-day run in San Francisco on April 15. Mike will run 3,000 miles across America, and his brother Joey, age 23, will drive the follow vehicle. The two brothers, who lost their grandmother Edna Devlin to bulbar ALS in 2014, plan to end their journey on Aug. 1 in New York City.
All the funds raised from their #ProjectRun will go to support a new clinical trial testing a new drug in people with ALS.
Mike and Joey Devlin’s entire 100-day schedule, which will include stops in Sacramento, California; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago, Illinois; Effort, Pennsylvania; and other small towns and cities, is available and will be documented at ALSProjectRun.com. Visitors of the website can follow their journey, sponsor it, and give contributions.
The journey can also be followed at Twitter.com/TheMikeDevlin; Instagram.com/TheMikeDevlin; and Facebook.com/ProjectALS.
“Three years ago, we watched as ALS attempted to strip our grandmother of her humanity,” Mike Devlin said in a news release. “Now, Joey and I want to focus all of our efforts on fighting this disease and paying it forward, just as Grandma Devlin would have done.
“In planning this expedition, we wanted to align ourselves with an organization that would be both transparent and allow us to commit all funds raised toward finding a cure for this horrible disease,” he added. “Project ALS is this partner – they’ve shown us the research they are focused on, how they are pushing forward in the fight against ALS, and are allowing us to dedicate every dollar directly to research, not infrastructure.”
All of those interested in joining Mike on his run are encouraged to come out, meet the two brothers, and offer encouragement.
“This 3,000-mile, 100-day run is about showing that you’re capable of more than you think,” Joey Devlin said. “When something as daunting as ALS confronts you, you fight whether you’re ready or not. While Mike and I are on the road, we want to meet those who have been affected by ALS and those who have shown unwavering strength and courage to help find a cure.”
Mike and Joey’s #ProjectRun and Project ALS will use the funds raised to support a ALS research project that is examining cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that hit autophagy.
Autophagy is the natural, regulated, destructive mechanism of the cell that destroys unnecessary or dysfunctional components, clearing unwanted proteins from a cell. However, when autophagy is dysfunctional, cells can become dysfunctional.
“Autophagy is a fancy word for something that happens inside of cells that may contribute to ALS. The amazing Devlin brothers will raise funds to support the aggressive testing of a drug that is already FDA-approved to target autophagy,” said Valerie Estess, director of research for Project ALS.
Project ALS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify and support leading scientific research toward the first effective treatments and a cure for ALS.