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East County News Service

December 21, 2019 (San Diego) – The ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter has announced an anonymous donor in San Diego has pledged up to $50,000 in a matching year-end, donation challenge. This means every dollar donated to the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter until Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000, according to Steve Becvar, executive director, ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter.

“We’re very grateful for the $50,000 pledge and we’re asking generous San Diegans to rise to the occasion and double their dollars to help us achieve our goal,” said Becvar. “We’re counting on everyone with this urgent request to give their best gift today, honor the courageous souls affected by ALS, remember those who have passed and raise awareness in support of a good cause. These year-end, tax-deductible gifts will help us provide care services, resources and programs for people with ALS.”

All services for patients and families are provided by the ALS Chapter at no cost, Becvar said. Also, Becvar said medical expenses associated with ALS can cost up to $250,000 annually, depleting families’ life savings. Currently, ALS officials said more than 200 San Diego and Imperial county residents are registered with the local ALS chapter.

Year-end donations can be made online at, or mailed to 9929 Hibert St., Suite A, San Diego, 92131. For more information on the December matching challenge, contact Eric Andrews,, LeeAnn Casey,, or call (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 ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit voluntary health organization dedicated solely to fighting against ALS on every front through research, public policy and care services. It is the largest private funder of ALS research in the world. The Association funds global research collaborations, provides assistance for people with ALS and their families through its nationwide network of chapters and certified clinical care centers, and advocates for better public policies for people with ALS. The mission of the ALS Association is to find a cure for and improve the lives of people living with ALS. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, the ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while urgently searching for new treatments and a cure.

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. At its San Diego offices, the local chapter also showcases an ALS bedroom and bathroom that is equipped with features and benefits that would be helpful to people with ALS. For more information about the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter, visit


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