Question: Can you explain what Project A.L.S. is and outline its goals and mission?
Answer: Project A.L.S. is a nonprofit organization trying to raise awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease, or A.L.S, and other diseases involving the brain. What’s so special about Project A.L.S. is that they get all the best doctors from around the country, sit them down in a room together … (and say) let’s figure out a way to cure this. The organization has been around 10 years and they’ve raised $37 million.
Q: How long have you been involved and what role do you play?
A: I’ve been involved now about five years. It was through my manager, who’s a board member and is friends with the Estess sisters (Jenifer, Valerie and Meredith) … who have gone above and beyond with Project A.L.S. My role is like everybody’s role, to raise awareness and raise money and just try and get the word out there.
Q: Have you had any particularly moving experiences during your time working with this organization?
A: They had an event out in Los Angeles a couple years ago and it was really moving. The people suffering from this disease are in trouble obviously and that’s why we’re here, to try and find a cure for them.
Q: Have you had any personal experience with the disease?
A: I have not, no. And I unfortunately never got to meet Jenifer (Estess, a New York theater producer who died of A.L.S. in December 2003). From what I heard she was just a tremendous person.
Q: What do you hope Project A.L.S. will accomplish?
A: Well, I think that we are getting closer and closer every day to a cure and that’s something that Project A.L.S. is obviously pushing, to end this.
Q: And what inspires you to help others?
A: I’m kind of like the luckiest kid in the world -- I feel like it anyway -- and to do anything to give some of that back is pretty special.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: I’d just like to emphasize how great Project A.L.S. is and all the work that Meredith and Valerie have done. There are a lot of people suffering from this and it doesn’t happen when you’re in your 80s; it can happen in your 30s and 40s and 50s. … It’s really just about raising awareness and raising money and just getting the word out.
Q: What is the Mets connection to Project A.L.S.?
A: The New York Mets organization has helped so much, helping to raise over $1 million for Project A.L.S. … I grew up a Mets fan, so this rocks!
Interviewed by Giacinta Pace, NBC News.