Les Turner ALS Foundation

History and Mission

The story of the Les Turner ALS Foundation begins with one man’s ALS diagnosis in 1976. Les Turner, a Chicago area businessman, husband and father, was frustrated by the lack of local resources available to manage the devastating effects of his diagnosis. His family and friends supported his desire to provide support to others affected by the disease with the resources and hope for a cure unavailable to him. In doing so, they inspired his legacy.

For nearly forty years, the Les Turner ALS Foundation has been Chicagoland’s leader in research, patient care and education about ALS.
The mission of the Les Turner ALS Foundation is to:
  • Advance scientific research into the causes, treatments and prevention of ALS
  • Provide exceptional clinical care and support services to people living with ALS, their families and caregivers
  • Increase awareness and education of ALS

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1977 Les Turner ALS Foundation Started
Les Turner ALS Foundation is founded by Les Turner and a small group of his friends and family in the Turner’s living room. Today, the Foundation is recognized as one of the nation’s oldest, independent ALS organizations.

1979 The Les Turner ALS Research Laboratory
First Les Turner ALS Research Laboratory opens, providing hope for a future without ALS to patients nationwide. Today, the Foundation funds three dedicated ALS laboratories at Northwestern Medicine.

1986 The Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine
The Lois Insolia ALS Clinic opens at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, one of the first in the nation and the only in Chicago. Today, the Clinic is recognized as one of the nation’s best multidisciplinary centers for ALS patients.

2014  Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine
Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine forms, enhancing collaboration between the three ALS research laboratories and the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic. Today, the Center is one of the premier ALS Centers in the country. 

2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge sweeps the nation, increasing public perception of ALS and raising hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. Today, increased public support is leading to greater advancements in patient care and research.

The Foundation’s mission supports:

Support Services

Patient Services

The Les Turner ALS Foundation patient services programs help patients and their loved ones cope with the day-to-day difficulties of living with a chronic disease.

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Research & Patient Center

Research & Patient Center

The Center brings together all ALS disciplines under one umbrella, enabling enhanced collaborations between researchers and clinicians to provide a full spectrum of treatment to ALS patients while facilitating the development of new therapies for ALS.

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Events, Education & Awareness

Events, Education & Awareness

Local focus—Global reach. Events in various neighborhoods support ALS families in Chicago and beyond.

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Hope and help for people with ALS.

Your contribution helps support the vast majority of the Chicagoland ALS population.