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Our Story

In the spring of 2015, my father, Gary “Goose” Ragusa Sr., was  diagnosed with the terminal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  I still remember that day my father came home and sat down with my brother and me, breaking the terrible news.  He explained what ALS is and how our lives would change. Shocked and scared by this diagnosis we felt hopeless, with no plan of action or how we would survive and support my father in the uphill battle he was to face.

 

In August 2015, our close-knit family, my dad's best friends, our hockey community, and our hometown came together to create Team Goose. Team Goose supported my family not only financially but emotionally during these very difficult years . Team Goose was created  to raise awareness for the disease and financially help my father receive the best care. Team Goose's support gave him the essential tools for him to live comfortably and explore the options of a cure for ALS. My father lived with ALS for five years, and never stopped fighting.  Without the generosity and support of so many people we would have lost him a lot sooner. I am forever grateful to the family that is Team Goose.

A little over 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (That's 15 new cases a day.) Every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with the disease, and someone else passes away from it. I sit here thinking of that statistic; 5,000 families  each year need financial and emotional support to fight the ALS battle. This disease continues to be tragically underfunded. In 2022, only 200 million was appropriated in the US budget for ALS research. 

 

The research for a cure and for a new treatment  to help those whose lives have been shortened by an ALS diagnosis is critical . When the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, it raised over 100 million dollars for research, which is a tremendous amount of money.  Unfortunately this is the average cost to research and test  ONE medication, with no guarantee of success.    The hope for a cure relies on donations and constant fundraising from people like you who care. This is my passion.  

I speak for myself and my family; the second chapter of Team Goose's mission is about paying forward what people did for us. We want to help improve people's lives through support, advocacy, and research funding. We must educate and increase awareness about the obstacles victims and their families  face with the death sentence that an ALS diagnosis brings . 

Team Goose will dedicate its efforts towards research for effective treatments and ultimately a cure. In addition, we will work to  increase access to resources  needed to live the best and most comfortable lives possible for those afflicted with this terrible disease. 

 

Join me and the Team Goose Family in the Fight to Defeat ALS. 

 

-Gary Ragusa Jr.

Where Do Our Proceeds Go?

We have decided to donate our proceeds directly to the Healey Center at Mass General Hospital. Their center for ALS research and care continues to move at an accelerated pace. In their platform trial researchers are testing multiple treatments with a broad reach of patients, where results are happening in months rather than years.  

THE RESEARCH

2 of 4 treatments to date showed slowing disease
  • The cutting edge science and research at the Healey Center is producing results from innovative therapies and ground breaking drug trials.

  • Researchers are working on identifying the specific biological pathways in cells involved in muscle and nerve function that are lost in the presence of ALS and they are working on strategies to repair them.

  • The HEALEY ALS Platform Trial serves as an efficient and effective tool to accomplish the goal of repairing damaged cells and prevent ALS from occurring entirely. We are currently entering Phase 3 of the trial and showing great success. 

  • HEALEY & AMG center scientists are pioneering a novel approach to nerve transplants (replacing a damaged nerve with a healthy nerve from a nearby muscle to restore strength) using motor neurons from non-embryonic human stem cells. These stem cells hold great promise in ALS because of the muscle degeneration implication in ALS.​​​

  • The center is collaborating with many different companies for therapy including Ionis Pharmaceuticals for a Gene Therapy treatment. 

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