From the very beginning Doug didn’t want A Long Swim to be one of his bucket list things. He wanted to use A Long Swim for a good cause and what better cause than the Les Turner ALS Foundation … who supported Doug’s Father as he was dying from ALS. They support ALS research at Northwestern in Chicago … the same place where Doug’s Father visited his neurosurgeon regularly and ultimately donated his brain and spinal column.
Long story short, Doug was seeking a matching donation and found the perfect mate in Medtronic, the maker of the Prestige Disc, the bionic piece that lives in Doug’s now bionic neck, and allows him to swim at all. The piece happened to be installed at Northwestern. Medtronic was the first to step up and match all donations up to $50,000.
They reached their goal and, open the door, in came $100,000 to the Foundation.
Here is NBC’s interview that explains it all …
Open the door again, and in comes the Gilbert and Jacqueline R. Fern Foundation. A Family Foundation supporting ALS research who heard about Doug’s ability to use his muscles and lungs in support of those who can’t. The Fern Foundation has been a long supporter of the Les Turner ALS foundation and they have offered to match up to $25,000 in additional donations, over and above the $100,000 already raised.
Medtronic and The Fern Foundation have stepped up big time to be a part of A Long Swim. We can’t thank them enough and we can’t wait to report back on the progress.