You can't help but be inspired by Augie Nieto.
Sure, he acquired fame and fortune as he transformed Life Fitness from an operation he ran out of his garage into one of the world's leading fitness equipment companies, but his fight for a cure for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, has made him a true legend.
Earlier this summer, we wrote that Augie would be featured on CNN. That piece finally aired this past week, and it tells Augie's story as well as any we've seen. You might remember the reporter in the story, Suzanne Malveaux, hosted the 8th annual BASH for Augie's Quest in Las Vegas this year. Malveaux's mother also suffers from ALS.
In addition to the story airing on CNN, there is more good news for Augie. Backing up his pledge to walk on stage at next year's IHRSA convention, Augie has embarked on "Project Walk," a program designed to help people regain the ability to walk developed by Mike Alpert at his Claremont Club in California.
As a result of this program, Augie has begun to experience feeling and movement in parts of his body that have been immobile for years. As great a feat as that is, Augie's not stopping there. He's also gained increased control over his facial muscles and posture.
He continues to work out, adding repetitions and weight to his leg press, which, if you saw him perform the leg press at IHRSA, you know how impressive that was. He's also experiencing occasional feeling in his hands and arms.
Finally, Augie's Quest is making great strides in researching cures for ALS. Novartis' drug, Gilenya is in Phase 2 of its clinical trial with patients in four U.S. hospitals. Gilenya has already been proven to slow the progress of ALS in lab trials.
Augie has also completed two stages of a three part collaboration with the Nobel Prize-winning Gladstone Institute aimed at more quickly and effectively identifying the most promising therapeutic candidates for ALS.
There is a lot of positive news surrounding Augie and his quest for the cure. But with someone as inspiring as Augie, what else would you expect?