The Les Turner ALS Foundation hosted its annual Hope Through Caring gala Feb. 25, honoring the organization’s board president, Ken Hoffman, and people living with ALS. Held at the Loews Hotel Chicago, 500 guests attended the sold-out event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the foundation, one of the nation’s largest independent ALS organizations.
Andrea Pauls Backman, executive director of the foundation, welcomed guests and introduced the founder’s son Alan Turner. Alan paid tribute to his father, Les Turner, and shared the foundation’s history. Les was diagnosed with ALS at age 36 and created the organization, with support of family and friends, from his bed six months before he passed away in 1977. Alan recalled, “The key difference between our experience in the ’70s and what happens today is that, back then, there wasn’t a foundation like this one to provide social workers and patient advocates, equipment or laboratories conducting research to give us hope. We were virtually alone.”
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