After a year long, extensive restoration, it's time to see the finished product. The completed ALS Mach 1 was returned to Craig in an awesome reveal event on July 22, 2023. The event was attended by friends, family, and fellow pALS. This is where Craig took his first ride in the ALS MACH 1 in almost 24 years!
The car was really solid to start with. Some things were unfinished, others needed attention due to age. All surfaces, inside and out, were refinished or replaced. Before you scroll to the photos and videos below, please take a moment to read our "ask" and consider helping ALS patients by emailing those parties in our ask. We desperately need your help! Please share with your friends.
Hello and welcome! This is a huge day for both the Reagan family and for ALS. YOU can help transform this disease right now in a huge way!
Please continue to visit alsmach1.org for information about this amazing car for Craig! Also, you can make a huge difference in ALS right now. You see, thousands of ALS patients have been fighting for FDA approval (and therefore access) to a potentially game changing new treatment called “NUROWN”, which has produced some amazing results in some patients.
“What can I do NOW to help Craig and all ALS patients?”
PLEASE, drop an email asap to the following organizations at the addresses below and demand on Craig's behalf they immediately support FDA approval of NUROWN in SEPTEMBER!
WHY? Incredibly, several large ALS groups are NOT SUPPORTING FDA approval of NUROWN (after they promised to), mainly because they will make no direct money from NUROWN's FDA approval. Last year, ALS patients (including Craig and “No More Excuses” 14,000+ members) fought hard to help get ALSA's choice of drugs FDA approved! Now THESE GROUPS ARE NOT RETURNING PATIENTS' CRUCIAL SUPPORT!
Please contact the following people to demand their IMMEDIATE support for NUROWN's FDA approval this year!
THE ALS ASSOCIATION: 1-800-782-4747
Calaneet Balas, CEO, ALS ASSOCIATION: firstname.lastname@example.org
Neil Thakur, Vice President ,ALS Association: email@example.com
Kuldip Dave, Vice President, ALS Association: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stuart Obermann, ALS ASSOCIATION BOARD: email@example.com
“PROJECT ALS”: firstname.lastname@example.org
“TEAM GLEASON” : email@example.com
THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING alsmach1.org reveal!
Howdy, and welcome. I have many things to say, and many people to thank, so I'll begin with this:
Thank you all for coming out today. Thank you all for your friendships, most of which are practically lifelong. Probably half of you, I've known for at least half my life. Some of our friendships are younger, but certainly no less cherished.
We have a special guest with us tonight: Karen Cambino from Congressman Dan Crenshaw's office. He represents Texas' 2nd congressional district, which includes this very location, and where many of you are registered to vote. Karen lost a family member to ALS. Visit with her and let her know how desperately changes are needed in ALS. .
Given my health battle, I figured it fitting that I borrow a couple of lines from the great Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig...
Today... I consider myself... the luckiest man... on the face of the earth.
That is certainly true today. What you see before you is more than just an old car. It is the embodiment of hope. Hope that an effective therapy will soon be available to those of us with ALS. It may have started with a simple gesture of lending a hand to someone who can no longer use theirs, but it morphed into so much more. This project has renewed friendships and connections, and established new ones. Perhaps most of all, it has reminded me there are people who care about my journey. There are so many people that had a hand in the car you see before you. First and foremost, those of you who chose to share your hard-earned money. Without you, there would not be this beautiful machine here today. I am truly humbled by, and eternally grateful to, each of you. But what good is the money for parts without a chief organizer, head mechanic, and overall, el Jefe? Fortunately, we had someone. I really can't sing his praises enough. From the day we visited at our class reunion till the day I received an email telling me of their amazing offer was only 5 days...5 days!! His sole motivation for this incredibly selfless act, from day one, has been to bring awareness for ALS. From the day of our reunion, until now, he stomped on the gas and never let up. This guy works 4–10-hour days at a regular paying job. For the past year, he spent each day of his 3-day weekends, every week, in the shop, usually working on my car. Even on weekend days when he and his wife had plans elsewhere, he would work in the shop before or after their engagement. He certainly doesn't endeavor to be in the spotlight, but he absolutely deserves it. I'm proud to call him a friend, and I know you are, too...Richard Watson. (PAUSE) Robert, the fact that you didn't know me certainly didn't deter you from agreeing to the project, and helping at every opportunity. You give the Energizer bunny some serious competition. Thank you for being such a willing participant. (PAUSE) John, Jack, Brett, Curtis, Mike, Chris, and Gary, thank you for donating some of your free time to this UHmazing project! (PAUSE) Staci, thank you for heading up the fundraising. 50 years ago, I did not envision you being such an integral part of my life. I just wanted you OUT of my room.
Now, for ALS updates: One week from today, July 29, will mark 7 years since I heard the dreaded words, "You have ALS." Then, shortly after, I heard "There is no treatment or cure. There is nothing we can do for you. Go home, spend time with your family. Do things on your bucket list. Our best guess is that you have 20-23 months." In one week, I will begin my 85th month since that horrible, horrible day. So many ALS victims are not nearly this fortunate, often passing within mere weeks or months of receiving their diagnosis. In the weeks and months to follow, I would learn how poorly the ALS Association has handled the proceeds from the Ice Bucket Challenge. They continue that poor management today. For roughly eight years now, they have refused to get behind, and push for the ONLY ALS therapy in history to have reversed some ALS symptoms in some patients. This therapy is called NurOwn by Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc. Despite real world evidence showing multiple trial participants halting their disease progression, as well as moderate symptom reversal in some patients, ALSA refuses to push for it. ALSA even acknowledged NurOwn's benefit on a national news show. Please do not donate to them.
There is a meeting scheduled for September 27 where the FDA will hold an Advisory Committee meeting, in which they will hear from an outside panel of experts as to whether NurOwn should be approved by the FDA. I would like to ask for your help to let the FDA know that ALS patients need more treatment options. Although it is not a cure, and will not work for everyone, NurOwn should be approved and made available to ALL ALS PATIENTS!.
My friend, Mike Henson, and I started a Facebook group called No More Excuses because we were tired of hearing excuses for why ALS doesn't have more treatment options. Our members were a major force behind the passing of the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS or AACT for ALS. This group has grown to more than 14K members.. Some of those members are with us today:
Jerry Tobias, New Caney High School graduate
Robert Amar, Kingwood, Texas
Patricia Hamilton, Humble, Texas
Go around and visit with them, learn about their struggles, daily and otherwise. Then, we ask that you remember all ALS patients in your daily thoughts and prayers. I would like to ask each of you to help us by calling and/or emailing the FDA ALS Association to tell them NurOwn NOW! If you are willing to help, please see someone in a white car shirt.
I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for.
After seeing his completely restored '73 Mach 1 for the first time since its completion, Richard takes Craig and the Reagan kids for their first ride.
Our first look!
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