Survivor: Winners At War Against ALS

Join Survivor alum Jonathan Penner in the fight against ALS.
Posted on Mar 10, 2020 | 05:30pm
When you receive a diagnosis of ALS, fear grips you and your world turns upside down. With few treatments, this always fatal neuromuscular disease destroys your ability to control your body. It envelops your world and consumes your family.

Stacy Title, wife of three-time Survivor contestant Jonathan Penner, was diagnosed with the disease in Dec. 2017. Now, just two and a half years later, Stacy can no longer walk, talk, swallow, or breathe without a machine. Though she fights bravely each day, Stacy requires 24-hour care and can only communicate by moving her eyes. Jonathan is her primary caregiver.

Their loved ones have watched helplessly as Stacy and Jonathan battled this costly, progressive disease that affects more than 20,000 Americans and their families every year. Yul Kwon, Jonathan's friend from Survivor: Cook Islands, was so dismayed by the family's situation that he shared Stacy's story with the other Winners at War and they immediately came together.

DONATE: Join The Fight Against ALS

"Though Stacy has ALS and we are fighting for her life, we've been blessed with more friends and love than anyone could ask for," said Jonathan. "And we have wonderful champions in Yul and the other Winners at War. But even so, the physical, emotional, and financial hardship is overwhelming. And it's not just us, there are many other families who need both help and hope."

To join their fight, Jonathan is asking friends and fans for a tax-deductible donation to The ALS Association, whose mission is to discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.

Donations to The ALS Association will also be distributed to The Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General Hospital in Boston (a leading ALS research center) and Compassionate Care ALS (a direct help and service provider for families and caregivers, with nationwide and international reach).

To maximize the impact of this unprecedented effort, the first $50,000 in donations will be matched by Yul dollar for dollar.

"No family should have to endure what Stacy, Jonathan, and their two children have endured, or make the hard choices they've had to make," said Yul. "Please join us in supporting them and the thousands of people who suffer from ALS today—and the many more lives that will be shattered unless we find a cure."

"We are not happy to be here with you," added Jonathan. "But we are so glad that you are interested in helping us, and the thousands of other families in need. For your time, your attention, and your contribution... THANK YOU!"

About ALS: ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a chronic neurodegenerative condition that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Often called Lou Gehrig's Disease after the famous baseball player whose career was cut short by its effects, ALS kills the motor neurons which allow a person to use his or her muscles.

As the motor neurons die, a patient becomes unable to control their movements, progressing until they can no longer walk, talk, or even swallow or breathe on their own. Sporadic ALS accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases in the US and can affect anyone at any age. Familial ALS is what Stacy Title has been diagnosed with; a genetic form of the disease that affects only 5 to 10 percent of ALS patients in America. There is a 50% chance each child of a patient with Familial ALS will inherit the gene mutation and may develop the disease.

ALS affects more than 20,000 Americans and their families. Right now there are few treatments and no cure.