Friday, June 22, 2018

It was cold. It was raining. We had a blast!

As soon as we took this picture, the skies opened up and sheets of rain came down.
All 45 walkers ran into the house along with 5 Golden Retrievers & a Beagle.
Next thing we knew the food came out, bottles of libations were uncorked and the noise level of laughter climbed.
First time in the history of doing The Walk that we had no walk.
Didn't faze many as the celebration lasted well into the late afternoon and we raised more money than last year.
So grateful to the people that were here and for all whom generously donated to exceed our goal.
Save the date for next year: Sunday, May 
19th, 2019. 


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

It’s time to rally The Johnnie Walkers for our annual Walk on Sunday, May 20th to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis research.




 Our team is working on the next breakthrough as we are continuing to raise funds for The NU/UC Tolerance Initiative. Drs. Steve Miller of Northwestern Medical School and Brian Popko of The University of Chicago are collaborating on a very promising line of research to induce tolerance of the immune system using nanotechnology to prevent “friendly fire” on healthy cells. They attach myelin proteins to biodegradable nanoparticles (myelin is the coating on nerves that is destroyed by a confused immune system in MS). 

Once this nanomedicine is injected into the blood and goes through the spleen and liver, the immune system is re-taught that healthy myelin is not an invading outside threat and should be left alone and the autoimmune cells becomes “tolerized”. Drs. Miller and Popko are also combining the tolerance protocol with co-administration of drugs that stimulate myelin repair and have found that combined treatment with both strategies leads to a remarkable ability to reverse symptoms of MS in a mouse model of the disease. Promising agents which are being tested for their ability to promote myelin repair include the FDA approved drugs digoxin (used in heart therapy ) and miconazole (an anti-fungal drug) as well as a new approach being tested in collaboration with Clene Nanomedicine which uses the administration of gold nanocrystals.  The money we raised last year allowed our researchers to complete crucial work so they could be compete for more grant money from The National  Institutes of  Health – a new NIH grant was awarded jointly to them in July 2017.

This research has the potential to revolutionize autoimmune and allergic disease treatment since you can substitute the myelin proteins for other proteins depending on the disease being targeted. Therefore you can tolerize the immune system in response to all autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac disease and lupus. Additionally, you can control severe allergies, including to peanut and cat dander and even eliminate organ transplant rejections. So, our great philanthropic endeavors will benefit many people we know and love that fit into these expanded categories. Dr. Miller’s company, Cour Pharmaceutical Development Company in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals began an FDA-approved phase 1 clinical trial in celiac patients who are being treated with nanoparticles containing gliadin (the major protein component of gluten) to re-establish tolerance and hopefully stop this widespread disease.
Join us and be part of our team; walk and donate

If you can’t make the trip join our group by donating online through Northwestern Univ.
.
Or by writing a check:
Northwestern University
Memo: CATalyzer project
c/o Bob Gregory
10 Londonderry Lane
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
The Sunday Walk has morphed into a fun weekend. Our out of town team members come in early. These include our perennial All-Star, Mike Lazarus, from Connecticut, a number of my classmates from the class of 1974 Emerson NJ high schhigh schoolhigh school, my sister Cathy and brother-in-law Tim from Charlotte and my daughter, Christine, parachuting in from Bogotá.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Success!!

Every year the dynamic cast of characters that makes up the Johnnie Walker Team come through.
The walk on Sunday, May 21st was the culmination of a fun 5 day weekend. And this was all supported by team members you don't see in the picture that generously donated to get to our goal, wrote notes of support and called, texted, and Facebooked to add to the camaraderie.
I am so very grateful. And so very much empowered to support cutting research to get me, 400,000 with MS and millions with autoimmune diseases back on our feet. Scientists like Drs. Steve Miller and Brian Popko are dedicated to ensuring their research translates into practical physical change in real people.

Save the date: Sunday, May 20, 2018




.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Join us on Sunday, May 21st for Our Annual Walk



We are continuing to raise funds for The NU/UC Tolerance Initiative. Drs. Steve Miller of Northwestern Medical School and Brian Popko of The University of Chicago are collaborating on a very promising line of research to induce tolerance of the immune system using nanotechnology to prevent “friendly fire” on healthy cells. They attach myelin proteins to biodegradable nanoparticles (myelin is the coating on nerves that is destroyed by a confused immune system in MS).   Once this nano-cluster is injected into the body and goes through the spleen and liver, the immune system is re-taught that healthy myelin is not an invading outside threat and should be left alone and becomes “tolerized”.

Drs. Miller and Popko are also combining the tolerance protocol with drugs that stimulate myelin repair and have found that combined treatment with both strategies leads to a remarkable ability to reverse symptoms of MS. The money we raised last year allowed them to finish up some needed work so they could be awarded more grant money from The National Institutes of Health.

This tolerance initiative will enhance the environment allowing for re-myelination naturally or with the intervention of the many myelin repair agents that are entering into human clinical trials. When people describe this research they use words like game changer, the Holy Grail and accelerating towards a cure. This research has the potential to revolutionize disease management since you can substitute the myelin proteins for other proteins. Therefore you can tolerize the immune system in response to all autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac’s disease and lupus. Additionally, you can control severe allergies, including to peanut and cat dander and even eliminate organ transplant rejections. So, our great philanthropic endeavors will benefit many people we know and love that fit into these expanded categories. As an offshoot to their research, human clinical trials on Celiac’s disease start in a couple months.

To learn more about the Tolerance Initiative, click here to watch a video produced by WGN News featuring Dr. Stephen Miller.

Join us and be part of our team; walk and donate on Sunday, May 21nd, 2017  in Lincolnshire.  At 10:30 am we will start a 4 mile neighborhood walk, starting and finishing at our house. Then spend the afternoon of camaraderie and a backyard picnic with us. Bring your friends.

If you can’t make the trip join our group by donating online through Northwestern Univ.
or by writing a check:
Northwestern Univ.
Memo: CATalyzer project, GAKG2
c/o Bob Gregory
10 Londonderry Lane
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
It's Tax Deductible!








Friday, May 27, 2016

Another Great Event!

Last Sunday’s Walk was the culmination of a great weekend of friendship, overwhelming support, talking a little science and raising a lot of cash (with more coming in daily) to benefit collaborative MS research and specifically The NU/UC Tolerance Initiative.

We are so appreciative of the Walkers, who came out to put in some sweat equity as well as bringing monetary contributions. And thanks to those of you who joined our team with financial donations.

It’s not too late to contribute. We will keep the online link for donations open until at least July 4th.

Save the date for next year’s Walk: the weekend of May 21, 2017.


Friday, April 8, 2016

We are rolling again on Sunday, May 22nd to support The NU/UC Tolerance Initiative

Dr. Stephen D. Miller from Northwestern and Dr. Brian Popko from the University of Chicago are using nanotechnology to induce immune system tolerance, thereby preventing “friendly fire” on healthy cells in the body of a patient with MS.

In this work, biodegradable nanoparticles—composed of the same biopolymer used to make resorbable sutures—are coated with myelin proteins. Once these clusters are infused into the body, the immune system is re-taught that healthy myelin is not an invading outside threat and should be left alone. The Miller and Popko laboratories are combining this tolerance protocol with drugs that stimulate myelin repair and have found that combined treatment with both strategies leads to a remarkable ability to reverse paralytic symptoms in animal models of MS. 

Through the Tolerance Initiative, the immune system environment is effectively enhanced, allowing for re-myelination to occur naturally or with the intervention of myelin repair agents, many of which are currently entering into human clinical trials.


This research is a game changer. Not only does it have the potential to revolutionize the management of MS, but also myriad other diseases. Since the myelin proteins used in the Tolerance Initiative can be exchanged with other proteins, scientists could potentially “tolerize” in response to many types of autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. It could also lead to breakthroughs in controlling severe allergies like peanut and cat dander, or even eliminating organ transplant rejections.

Join us and be part of our team; walk and donate on Sunday, May 22nd, 2016  in Lincolnshire.  At 10:00 am we will start a 4 mile neighborhood walk, starting and finishing at our house. Then spend the afternoon of camaraderie and a backyard picnic with us. Bring your friends.

If you can’t make the trip join our group by donating online through Northwestern Univ.

or by writing a check:
Northwestern Univ.
Memo:
CATalyzer project, FAKGA
c/o Bob Gregory
10 Londonderry Lane
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
It’s tax deductible!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Exceeding High Expections


Not only did The Johnnie Walkers raised a record shattering $41,000, it was matched dollar for dollar by a MRF anonymous donor. Over the years we have raised over $300,000 to benefit the MRF. To say that I am personally grateful as are the scientists, volunteers (like us) and the staff members at The MRF is an understatement!

All of our donations, including the match, will fund the human clinical trial with the NIH on the repurposed drug, guanabenz and the development of protocols and assays that bridge the gap across “The Valley of Death” (which is the area between breakthroughs in the research laboratory and action by The Pharmaceutical Companies to invest millions in commercializing and FDA approved therapeutic).


Save the date, Sunday, May 22, 2016. The Johnnie Walkers will roll again.