The NAC Have a Heart Foundation hosted an invitation only private movie screening of the movie “Augie” on Wednesday June 28, 2017 at the historic Newtown Movie Theatre. The film is a documentary love story produced and directed by the Hollywood actor and filmmaker James Keach. James Keach produced the Johnny Cash award winning film “Walk the Line” among other winning projects. Mr. Keach traveled all the way from Hollywood to attend the film, to meet guests and host a Q and A presentation along with the viewing of the film.
The film which is titled “Augie” is about Augie Nieto a giant of the fitness industry who founded the largest line of fitness equipment in the world (LifeFitness). Augie was diagnosed with ALS in 2005 and has raised over $50 million for research over the past 12 years. His story is a love story despite the devastating effects of the disease and is an inspiration to millions.
The film is armed with irreverent humor from Augie who with the love of his life by his side and paralysis has done little to slow down the beast inside of his genius entrepreneurial style. He is the LifeFitness mogul, who continues to work every day to find the cure for ALS.
This event is designed to support Matt’s Mission as one of the main initiatives of the NAC Have a Heart Foundation which is now entering its 8th year of raising money for ALS Research. To date, the NAC and Jim Worthington (owner) have raised one million dollars for the cause. This year alone the goal is to raise another million dollars.
NAC member Matt Bellina, for whom this cause is named, is a 33-year-old former Navy pilot who was diagnosed with ALS in April 2014 when he was given a 2 – 5-year life expectancy outcome with this terrible disease. Matt and his wife Caitlin, have 3 young sons that Matt just wants to see grow so he can toss a football with them.
It has been said that ALS is not incurable, but underfunded. Jim Worthington, owner of the NAC Have a Heart Foundation and the NAC said, “If money is what it takes to get this disease cured, then we can do at least that. We will support the amazing work of the scientists for as long as it takes – not only for Matt, but also for all the other ALS patients in the world.”
The NAC Have a Heart Foundation also supports advocacy work for the “Right To Try” bill which is now working its way thought the halls of Congress in Washington, DC as well as in the state of Pennsylvania. This bill would allow all terminally ill patients in America (over 30 million) to try experimental drugs that have passed Phase 1 FDA trials. If these patients are required to wait for Phase 2 and 3 trials to be completed it could take 8 – 15 years and 2 billion dollars and they will most likely not survive that long. Matt and all the other terminally ill patients in America deserve the chance to try…. this is their freedom and their right.
All the funds raised from the movie screening for “Augie” go to the ALS TDI (Therapy Development Institute) a cutting-edge bio tech non- profit research facility in Cambridge, Boston where some of the most advanced research is taking place. If 7 million dollars is raised this year, they will have a promising drug ready for trials in less than 12 months. This is the closest we have ever come to a cure to date and the experts now say it is not if, but when we get a cure.
If you would like more information about this event, please contact Linda Mitchell at 215-968-0600 x 114 or email at [email protected]