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At Life Fitness, we help people lead happier, healthier lives. Our history is rooted in passion for fitness and we work to extend active lifestyle opportunities to all populations around the world. As a global leader in the fitness industry, Life Fitness takes on the responsibility to give back to our community and honor our company co-founder through an alliance with Augie’s Quest.
In 2005, Life Fitness co-founder Augie Nieto was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Determined to stand strong and inspire others, Nieto pledged to lead the fight to end ALS by founding Augie’s Quest, a fundraising and awareness initiative through the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) ALS division. Since the foundation of Augie’s Quest, Life Fitness has offered its support by advocating awareness, fundraising and personal connections through company president Chris Clawson. Today, money raised through Augie’s Quest funds research projects hoping to cure ALS.
To date, Augie’s Quest has raised over $39 million in funding – with help from the enduring commitment of the entire Life Fitness team. In 2011, Life Fitness created a special edition Lifecycle® Exercise Bike to raise money for Augie’s Quest. The bike features the same technology found in Lifecycle bikes, but includes an inscription of Augie’s signature quote, “from success to significance,” on the side. Life Fitness donates $500 from the sale of each special edition bike to Augie’s Quest.
In 2013, Life Fitness joined the makers of the SoFit app in an effort to raise $10,000 for Augie’s Quest and the mission to find a cure for ALS. The app tracks the miles of exercisers, and SoFit donated one dollar (up to $5,000) to the MDA for every mile its users logged. Life Fitness pledged to match each dollar donated by SoFit. And to ensure the goal was reached, Life Fitness personnel attending the 2013 International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), put miles on an Elevation Series Treadmill for a full day on Thursday, March 21, logging their distance every step of the way.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is known more commonly in the United States as Lou Gehrig's disease. It is a disease of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, difficulty speaking, and difficulty breathing. ALS eventually causes complete paralysis with mental function intact. Survival is typically three to five years after diagnosis.
ALS affects approximately 5,600 people in the United States per year. While there is no known cure, Augie's Quest continues to seek out the genetic basis of the disease in hopes of finding one.
In 2009, Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik wrote and performed a new single, titled, "Augie Nieto," as a fundraising effort for Augie's Quest.