Monday, February 20, 2017

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.
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.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


  • The Johnnie Walkers had quite a day for the Walk on Sunday.
  • Team Emerson (Emerson, NJ HS mini-Reunion) had quite a weekend. 
  • The MRF is having quite a year of breakthroughs in their quest to have a FDA approved therapeutic for REPAIR by 2019.

Taking full advantage of the typical (not!) Chicago weather of sunny and 78 degrees (that’s above zero) in the 1st week in May, we had a record crowd of Walkers and raised a record amounts of money on behalf of the MRF. Our goal is to raise $35,000 and have it matched by an anonymous donor for total of $70,000. As of today we are at $66,500 with more arriving daily. We’ve never been this close to our goal this early in the cycle.

A number of high school friends (we graduated 41 years ago) flew out here on Thursday. With the help of some natives, we showed them our beautiful Chicagoland. We went to Wrigley Field on Friday (it was cold). On Saturday we went on the river boat cruise and then visited The Bean (it was hot). On Sunday they merged with the loyal Johnnie Walkers team to walk 4 miles in Lincolnshire (it was great).

The MRF, in conjunction with NIH, is entering in human clinical trials for guanabenz, which has the potential to protect and repair myelin. They also helped fund a study at Case Western Reserve that showed the potential restoration of myelin after application of the active ingredient of athlete foot cream. (Scientific breakthroughs can come from the strangest places). They are leading the way for other companies that are making great progress in repair.

We’re keeping the books open for another couple months so please continue to donate generously.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Update: We Are Walking on Sunday, May 3rd

After a particularly cruel winter, we have emerged from our lairs to see The Sun and start thinking about Walking again.

Some new details:

The good news on MRF general fundraising this past year is that The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation matched all donations and exceeded their commitment. The very good news for us is we found an anonymous donor to match our fundraising for our May Walk.
 The more we stretch our efforts, the more they will stretch their match.

The neuro-protective compound, that had been previously known as MRF-008, is now identified as the FDA approved drug for high blood pressure, guanabenz. The work on this drug, as to its relevancy to MS, was done by the MRF collaborating principal investigators. You and The Johnnie Walkers helped fund this work! The MRF has entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Institutes of Health to get this breakthrough out of the lab and into the pharmacy via MS human clinical studies. Since guanabenz is already FDA-approved for another disease indication, the MRF and the NIH see a tremendous opportunity to investigate the repurposing of this drug with its known safety profile. Repurposing takes years off the clinical trial protocols.

I’m excited about the fast start we’ve had already as depicted by the thermometer to the right.

Join us on Sunday, May 3rd, in Lincolnshire to Walk, Generate Awareness and Raise Monies. The details remain the same as those in the November post below.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Save The Date The Date: Our Next Walk Will Be On Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

We're getting ready to go into hibernation here in Chicago in anticipation of a particularly cold and snowy winter. However, we always set a beacon for which we focus on knowing spring and summer will return. The MRF Walk in May is that beacon.
Some things to look forward to:  

The die hard Johnnie Walker team is ready to roll with the usual suspects
 The clinical trial of the promising repair therapeutic candidate,
MRF-008, begins in earnest.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is going to match our donations dollar for dollar. Our new goal: record breaking $70,000
After a great 40th high school reunion in June, my Emerson, NJ buds (The Cavos) are making a mini-reunion weekend out of the Walk. 
This will include:

Friday, May 1st - Cub game
Saturday, May 2nd - River Boat Cruise, Millennium Park, Shedd Aquarium, Deep Dish Pizza
Sunday, May 3rd - The Walk
For more details go to 
Emerson NJ Class of '74
All are welcome!

Join us and be part of our team; walk and donate on Sunday, May 3rd 2015 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 Pay It Square
or by writing a check:
The Myelin Repair Foundation
c/o Bob Gregory
10 Londonderry Lane
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
It’s tax deductible!