Swim, Bike, Run.
Taking the fight to ALS one km at a time!

The Faust Blog

​THE INSPIRATION

Meet Garmt van Soest
Garmt is a versatile manager with a strong background in business strategy and technology.

He has advised Fortune 500 companies in the US and Europe since 2000.

Garmt joined Accenture in 2010 as a Senior Manager in Strategy where he has been leading engagements in different industries, solving complex problems, advising on strategic direction setting and leading organizational transformation programs.

Since his diagnosis with ALS his full-time job is to fight this disease with everything he and Accenture can muster.

THE SWIMMER, BIKER, RUNNER

Meet James Faust
Garmt and I met while completing our Executive MBA program together at RSM (Rotterdam School of Management) in 2005-2006.

Other than being lucky enough to be friends with Garmt, I'm just an ordinary guy.

Married and have two wonderful children aged 10 and 8.

Based in Belgium, I work as an international sales manager.

In 2015 at the age of 40, I discovered a new life passion in the sport of triathlon and completed my first Olympic triathlon in the UK after 6 months of training.

Still a beginnner at swimming; decent on the bike; fairly strong on the run.

Will complete my first Half Ironman and first Marathon in 2016.

Dedicating 2016 to raise money for research to discover the origins of ALS in order to better tackle this terrible disease.

THE ENEMY

Meet ALS / Lou Gehrig's Disease
 ALS is a seemingly randomly contracted disease that slowly breaks down the nervous system until the victim dies, typically of respiratory failure.

Victims of ALS usually survive only 3-5 years from diagnosis, although some “lucky” 10% survive 10 or more years.

​As frequently diagnosed as MS (multiple sclerosis), there are fewer living people with ALS than MS due to its rapid mortality rate.

There are various statistics out there, but some striking ones are:

     1 in 300 men get diagnosed with ALS;

     every 90 minutes, someone in the US gets diagnosed with ALS.

There is currently no known cure for ALS, although there are drugs that treat various symptoms of ALS to increase quality of remaining life.

There are also a handful of drugs that claim to slow down the spread of the disease, providing victims a few precious months of extra life.

THE SOLUTION

Meet Project MinE
Project MinE was set up in 2013 to collect DNA samples from several thousand ALS victims and control subjects to research the possible genetic origins of ALS.
 
Participation in the project is international in scope including a mix of scientists, industry, social foundations, and patients.

The project has quickly become the largest genetic study of ALS worldwide.

Due to the large control group included in this study, additional benefits will be the availability of a large catalogue of healthy genomes that can be used for further investigation into other diseases such as various types of cancer, Diabetes Melitus, and other neurological disorders.