“Matt’s Mission” was created to support Augie’s Quest and ALS
This page is dedicated to NAC Member Matt Bellina and his family as well as to the fight against ALS. The NAC is dedicated to fighting this terrible disease by raising money to support Augie’s Quest, which in turn directly supports the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI).
Matt Bellina is currently being treated by ALS TDI, which is aggressively seeking treatments utilizing cutting edge medical technology now. The keyword is “now”. They are not waiting for long government trials, but rather are able to apply stem cell and other modern capabilities today.
When we (at the NAC) learned that one of our own members, Matt Bellina, was directly involved with ALS TDI therapeutic testing we knew that our destiny had been carved out for us.
Matt’s Mission 2015 raised $180,000!
Thank you to everyone who supported Matt’s Mission as our $180,000 represented one tenth of the $1.8million dollars raised for Augie’s Quest by IHRSA Clubs in 2015. That was the largest amount from a single club in the nation. $100,000 of the total amount was donated personally by NAC owner Jim Worthington.
If you were at Matt’s Mission Marathon Workout on February 28th, you saw it in person. Going into the event we were at $45,000. Great! Almost to our goal of $50,000.
We were feelin’ good. We knew we would make our goal with the money from the day’s event, the Chinese Auction, T-shirt sales and Trainer Challenges. We like to make our trainers hurt by doing insane amounts of burpees, push ups, frog jumps, you name it…for money all in the name of Matt’s Mission.
Here is how the rest happened!
Within the last 30 minutes of the event, a large check for $5,000 came in from long time family friends of Matt’s parents. A complete surprise to everyone, even Matt’s parents! Then following that, several checks from more family friends and NAC members for $1,000 and other large amounts. Who knew? It doesn’t stop there. Jim Worthington, NAC owner, stepped in to offer what we thought was a final check for $10,000. Not to be foiled, the very final check of the day came in from our original top NAC member donor, Bill McAlister, who put in a $2,000 check early on. He promised to best the largest donor with his donation so he upped his earlier donation by $8,001.00 to bring his total donation to $10,001.00! And that is how we got to $80,000.
This is a scene straight out of the movies! If you weren’t there, we wish you had been and this will teach you to be there next time, because there will be a next time.
Click the image below to see the latest interview with Matt from ABC TV in Boston.
Matt and his wife Caitlin tell their story in their own words.
You will be able to contribute to Matt’s Mission by donating online through your monthly billing.
The amount you designate on this form will be added to your normal monthly electronic funds transfer for your NAC membership fees. If you need a receipt for tax donation purposes, please print out this page for your records. You will also receive an official email confirmation which you may use as a receipt. Thank you in advance for your donation.
Not a NAC member and want to donate to Matt’s Mission? Click the button below.
Scroll down to read Matt’s entire story.
Matt was diagnosed with ALS in April of 2014, though he had shown symptoms of the disease for several years. He graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2005 and received his commission into the US Navy. Matt went through flight training to become a Naval Aviator. Years later, while in the RAG in Whidbey Island, Washington he was medically grounded and thus began the road to the diagnosis he received in 2014. While he no longer is able to fly naval aircraft, Matt continued to serve in the Navy at the rank of Lieutenant Commander until December 2014
Matt, his wife Caitlin, and their two young boys transferred back to the East Coast in order to be close to family and friends. They know they will need the support and love as they face this obstacle. Matt is the first in his family to face this diagnosis.
Prior to being diagnosed, Matt had been on message boards supported by ALS TDI. He knew it was a lab he could get behind should his symptoms prove to be what he feared. Matt and his father were privileged to tour the lab shortly after his diagnosis. They were both impressed with the research, equipment and the staff that work so hard to find a cure for this disease. After seeing what ALS TDI can (and will) do, Matt has decided to throw all his efforts at fundraising for the lab. He became a Young Faces of ALS (YFALS) Ambassador shortly after his diagnosis.
In October 2014, Matt travelled to ALS TDI in Boston to get a skin biopsy which will be used to clone thousands of copies of his neural cells. TDI will then screen over 50,000 compounds in the hopes that some will normalize his neurons. He will have full access to the results real time as they will post data on a secure web portal. ALS TDI also equipped Matt with four accelerometers in order to measure day to day disease progression. This process gives the ALS community very strong hope for finding a cure.
The Young Faces of ALS
The YFALS (Young Faces of ALS) Campaign was created by a small group of people living with ALS today who all share a disturbing characteristic – they all received their diagnoses before their 30th birthdays. Because ALS has often been categorized as a mid-to late-life disease, there was no known national recognition of ALS patients under the age of 30 prior to the establishment of YFALS. The campaign was created as a community for young ALS patients as well as their affected families and friends. YFALS has become a catalyst for accelerating research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute through fundraising events.
Matthew Bellina, Holland, PA
• Diagnosed in April 2014 at age 30
• US Navy Lieutenant Commander (Select), who began his career in Naval Aviation flying the EA6B Prowler
• Married with two sons under the age of 3
• Wants to teach his sons to camp, throw a baseball, build a fire and kayak, along with many of his other interests
• Committed to being present to successfully fight and beat this devastating disease