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ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter to Host `Virtual’ 2021 ALS Fiesta Fundraiser – May 19

Event is free and open to the public

San Diego CA— The ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter will host its sixth annual ALS Fiesta, presented by Carlsbad-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals, as a virtual online event from 7 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 19. Attendance to the 2021 ALS Fiesta, the chapter’s major annual fundraiser, will be free and open to the public.

Several fundraising opportunities will be available during Fiesta week May 17 to 21, including an online auction and fund-the-mission paddle raise.

In addition, supporters can purchase for $171 a Fiesta VIP package, which will include premium refreshments and gifts. The VIP package includes complimentary home delivery prior to the event on May 19.  The $171 donation amount is symbolic and representative of the 171 active research projects worldwide currently funded by The ALS Association.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals is the presenting sponsor of the 2021 ALS Fiesta.

“Ionis employees and our technology affiliates are honored to partner with the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter in support of this year’s ALS Fiesta,” said Brett P. Monia, Ph.D., Ionis’ chief executive officer. “We applaud the Chapter’s vision, perseverance and strategic planning to serve individuals and families living with ALS.

“We are equally proud that our excellence in research, early drug development and scientific innovation have enabled us to deliver novel antisense medicines to patients who depend on us. Together, with the ALS Association, we are bringing hope through potential therapies for patients who may benefit greatly for years to come from our joint capabilities.”

The 2021 ALS Fiesta will highlight research and drug development. Proceeds will provide services to ALS families, including medical equipment loans, referral services, support groups, education, advocacy for access to care and research toward slowing the progression of ALS and finding a cure.

Steve Becvar, executive director, ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter

Last year in August, the 2020 ALS Fiesta was held also as a virtual event and the ALS Association’s $80,000 donation goal was achieved, according to Steve Becvar, executive director, ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter.

“We’re hopeful to beat last year’s level of support for our 2021 Fiesta because ALS doesn’t stop during a virus pandemic,” said Becvar. “We’re asking the community to support the people, families, and caregivers affected by this progressive and terminal disease, which takes away the ability to walk, dress, write, speak, eat and breathe. Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS, and every 90 minutes someone loses their battle to this fatal disease. Together and by teaming up, we’re going to create a world without ALS.”

Additional 2021 ALS Fiesta sponsors include LifePro Financial Services, Access Medical, Geico Insurance, Helixmith Co. Ltd., Merrill, Casa Companion Homecare Solutions, Tito’s Vodka, Harmony Home Medical, Adapt Functional Movement Center, Valley View Casino & Hotel, COOLA organic sunscreen and Cutwater Spirits.

For more event information, visit www.alsfiesta.com. To participate as a sponsor or to donate to the chapter, contact Melissa McElvain, Associate Director of Donor Engagement, at mmcelvain@alsasd.org or 858-271-5547.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in people living with ALS weakens muscles and impacts physical function. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which usually leads to total paralysis. Life expectancy for a person with ALS is within two to five years of diagnosis of initial symptoms. There is no cure, cause or no life-prolonging treatments for the disease.

The Greater San Diego Chapter, chartered in February 2013, is one of 39 chapters nationwide. The San Diego chapter works closely with the ALS San Diego Clinic at the University of California San Diego, which has been certified as a Center of Excellence by the national ALS organization. For more information about the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter, visit www.alsasd.org.

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