Windy City Smokeout

Boomer Wallace’s Story

Every 90 minutes, someone in the US is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive neuro-degenerative disease affecting far too many people and families today.

Most people with ALS survive just 2-5 years after their first symptoms, with no known cure.
Yet, ALS is not an incurable disease; it is an underfunded one. There is hope.

Michael “Boomer” Wallace and his wife Ali are just one hometown family in the Chicago area facing this disease today. Diagnosed with ALS in June 2016, Boomer currently serves on The Leadership Council of Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS, leading nationwide efforts with many retail, food and fashion companies to raise significant funds and awareness around ALS. Today, Boomer is putting his successful career, network and business smarts in both private equity and branded fashion apparel, including Lilly Pulitzer, to work for ALS.

Boomer will tell you that he and Ali have a fairy-tale, life-long love story, with a few twists, turns and detours along the way. They met as kids, growing up in Indianapolis, dating for a bit in high school, graduating from DePauw and Indiana University, respectively, and starting their adult lives and careers alongside different spouses, and in different cities. But Boomer and Ali reconnected after their divorces, and finally, married in Chicago just a few months after Boomer’s diagnosis in 2016. Together, Boomer and Ali have six children between them, and split their time between Chicago and Philadelphia.

They share a love of music, travel and great food – BBQ! Boomer has always enjoyed being active, as competitive squash player, a lover of hiking, fishing, riding motorcycles, driving fast, taking in great movies, and playing across mountains, beaches and cities, far and wide.

That’s why every dollar raised via Windy City Smokeout benefits Boomer’s work to support Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS and ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world’s foremost drug discovery center focused solely on finding treatments and a cure for ALS.

Our support will help make it possible for ALS TDI to develop a promising new drug that could forever change the course of ALS – for Boomer and Ali, and so many more.

It’s called AT-1501 and is currently in the early stages of clinical trials, but needs additional investments to bring it fully to market.

The Windy City Smokeout and Lettuce Entertain You’s generous efforts will help us move one step closer to a world where effective treatments – and even a cure – for ALS are within reach.

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