About the Foundation
The Calcagnini ALS Foundation raises funds for research and developing strategies to treat people with ALS. Our partners identify specific immune system irregularities and cell anomalies related to ALS and take action based on the findings. We focus on funding identified solutions to cure this disease.
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive, degenerative neuromuscular disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. These motor neurons carry messages from the brain to the spinal cord and, ultimately, to the muscles that are necessary for voluntary and involuntary movement and function.
As many of you may know, James Arthur Calcagnini (59) passed away peacefully at his home on December 7, 2021 after a courageous four and a half year battle against ALS. Working with scientists and clinicians throughout his illness, James helped researchers make significant progress in their quests to find a cure for ALS. James was, and always will be, an integral part of their discoveries.
One of the researchers with whom James worked most closely is world-renowned immunologist and ALS researcher, Dr. Anahid Jewett. Dr. Jewett is a professor in the Division of Oral Biology and Medicine at the UCLA School of Dentistry. She is also a member of the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Technology, the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and the UCLA Tumor Immunology subgroup.
Dr. Jewett shared her thoughts about the impact James made on her research: "My deepest condolences to the family. I am forever grateful for having James in my life and enabling me to discover life-prolonging treatments with him. Our efforts are not in vain. His legacy will be helping countless people in the future."
From the moment he received his diagnosis, James was steadfast in his conviction that ALS would not defeat him. He dove headlong into the pursuit for a cure. James was uniquely positioned to participate in groundbreaking studies as he had a healthy identical twin, Tom, who was willing to act as a genetically similar control in the research. By comparing and contrasting various aspects of their immune systems, Dr. Jewett obtained invaluable data that will transform our understanding of this illness, lead to diagnostic tools, and, ultimately, a cure.
In James’ honor and memory, we ask for your help. In order to maintain the momentum in our quest for a cure for ALS, the Calcagnini ALS Foundation seeks to raise $5.5 million, which will be granted to the UCLA Foundation to accelerate this work by increasing the laboratory capacity and personnel dedicated to ALS research. The expanded research team and lab will help prolong lives, improve quality of life, and eventually find a cure for this heartbreaking disease.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and help in finding a cure for ALS.
Contact Calcagnini ALS Foundation
Calcagnini ALS Foundation, Inc.
A Charitable 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation
Tax ID# 85-2164578
Corporate Address: 528 Chapel Street New Haven, CT 06511
Mailing Address: 261 Millard Street #1B, Fairfield, CT 06824