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Ex-gov. with ALS raises money for disease

May 20, 2011 at 12:33 AM

BOSTON, May 20 (UPI) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci, diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, initiated a campaign Thursday to raise $10 million for research into the disorder.

Cellucci planned to make the official announcement before the start of the Red Sox game at Fenway Park, The Boston Globe reported. The money is to go to the University of Massachusetts medical school.

Lou Gehrig's disease, named after its most famous victim, is also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. It is a degenerative disease with no known cure and currently available treatments do little to slow its progress.

Cellucci, 63, served as lieutenant governor and moved up to governor in 1999 when William Weld resigned, serving for about two years. He was ambassador to Canada under President George W. Bush.

In January, Cellucci announced he had been diagnosed with ALS two years earlier.

In an interview with the Globe, he said he is confident better treatment can be found for the disease in his lifetime.

"I want to take the diagnosis and try to do good,'' he said. "I believe they are getting very close to a significant breakthrough. That's what gives me hope, and that it is going to help me in my lifetime.''

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