Hope Through Caring Award Honoree
As one of the top five privately held banks in Chicagoland, First Bank Chicago has been focused on the community and meeting the needs of their neighbors for over 65 years. They have developed a bank-wide culture of caring by giving their time, talent, and resources as well as financial education and charitable contributions.
With 22 years of uninterrupted support, First Bank Chicago has provided critical funding of the foundation's grant program for people living with ALS and their families, specifically, the Dan Nelson ALS Respite Fund and Stuart Rosen ALS Transportation Fund. The bank has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of life for people with ALS and their families, especially those in financial need.
Harvey and Bonny Gaffen Advancements in ALS Award Honorees
Brian Wallach, JD
Sandra Abrevaya, JD
Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya have been among the driving forces behind many of the most important developments in ALS advocacy. They played a major public role in demanding action from the FDA for approval of AMX0035 (Relyvrio), which created new momentum for other ALS treatments in the pipeline. Drawing on his experience in the White House, Brian helped write and secure sponsors for the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act, or ACT for ALS, which provides significant funding for ALS research and expanded access to promising investigational treatments for people living with ALS. President Biden signed the ACT for ALS into law on Dec. 23, 2021.
The fight against ALS is personal for their family. Brian was diagnosed with ALS in 2017, at the age of 37. In addition to her role as wife and mom, Sandra is also a caregiver for Brian. Bringing together their relentless commitment to advancements in ALS and their accomplished careers in law, government and public service, they co-founded I AM ALS, a nonprofit that mobilizes and empowers people living with ALS, as chronicled in the recent award-winning documentary No Ordinary Campaign. For these achievements and more, Brian and Sandra are two of the most innovative and impactful advocates in the ALS community today.