They told him it would never happen. As the paralysis gripped Augie Nieto's body and the awful effects of ALS took away his ability to move, doctors told him he would never walk again.
But Augie refused to listen.
For AB readers unfamiliar with Augie's story, here's a refresher: Diagnosed with ALS in 2005, Augie, the founder of Life Fitness, was given just a few years to live. Shortly after, he teamed up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association to start Augie's Quest, a research initiative determined to find a cure for the devastating disease. The biggest fundraiser for Augie's Quest is Augie's BASH, held every year at the IHRSA Convention. With eight BASH events in the books, more than $40 million has been raised, and researchers are making considerable progress on drugs to treat the disease.
However, Augie wants to make this year's BASH the most memorable of them all.
Once nearly completely paralyzed, Augie is working diligently to regain his ability to move. At last year's BASH in Las Vegas, there was hardly a dry eye in the house when he cranked out 20 reps of 110-pound leg presses. This year Augie is going to one-up himself. He plans to walk on stage. (We recommend watching the video above to see his progress.)
"They might call it Lou Gehrig's disease, but they'll call it Augie Nieto's cure," Augie's wife Lynne proclaimed in 2011. Together, let's make that cure happen. Join us March 14th in San Diego for Augie's BASH. Let's help Augie on his quest to cure ALS.
For more information, visit AugiesQuest.org.
This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Athletic Business under the headline, "Augie Nieto Preparing to Do the Unthinkable."