Our very own longtime host Nancy O’Dell, author of the book “Full of Life,” and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) have founded Betty’s Battle in honor of O’Dell’s mother who died of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, last year.
Betty’s Battle is a special MDA ALS Division campaign that raises funds supporting services and research to find treatments and a cure for those with ALS.
“I’m excited to tell the nation about MDA’s Betty’s Battle,” O’Dell said. “I’m so grateful to MDA for everything they did for me and my family during my mom’s illness. It’s my hope that through Betty’s Battle, we will eradicate ALS so that no other family will have to go through what mine did.”
On August 23, O’Dell will serve as a Celebrity Backstage Interviewer at the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) SummerSlam pay-per-view event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. O’Dell and several WWE Superstars will help raise awareness for MDA’s Betty’s Battle through media interviews and a VIP Axxess party at h.wood club in Los Angeles on August 21.
“We’re honored to include Nancy among the MDA family,” MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg said. “MDA Betty’s Battle will give us the opportunity to reach out to Nancy’s fans and friends to educate and empower them to make a difference in the fight against ALS.”
This Labor Day weekend, O’Dell will return for a second year as a co-host on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. She also serves as the MDA National ALS Ambassador and an MDA national vice president.
ALS destroys the nerve cells controlling voluntary muscles (including those used for breathing and swallowing), causing extreme muscle weakness and ultimately paralysis, while leaving mental function intact.
Striking healthy, fit adults in the prime of life, ALS usually is fatal within three to five years after diagnosis, without the use of mechanical ventilation.
ABOUT MDA’S ALS DIVISION
The leading organization in ALS research and services for over half a century, MDA has invested more than $250 million in its ALS program, providing grants to leading researchers worldwide, and medical care at 35 MDA/ALS research and clinical centers and more than 200 MDA clinics across the country.
MDA’s ALS services also provide help with the purchase and repair of wheelchairs, leg braces and communication devices; support groups; ALS-specific health and research publications and presentations, an ALS Web site (www.als-mda.org); and ALS chat rooms (www.als-mda.org/chat/calendar.html).