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Richard Zaitlen to be honored with 2017 Walk Hero Award at the 15th Annual
Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS® on Sunday, October 15, 2017

September 1, 2017- Los Angeles, CA

  Richard Zaitlin

Richard Zaitlin

The ALS Association Golden West Chapter is proud to announce that Richard Zaitlen will be the recipient of the 2017 Walk Hero Award at the 15th annual Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS.  The award is presented to an individual who is making courageous and inspirational efforts in the areas of advocacy, fundraising, and public awareness while living with ALS.   

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.  ALS does not discriminate -- women and men of all ages and backgrounds are at risk, though for unknown reasons veterans are diagnosed with ALS twice as often as civilians.  People with ALS lose their ability to move, speak, swallow, and eventually the ability to breathe, while all five senses continue to function normally.  At this time, there is no known cure. 

Before his diagnosis of ALS in February 2016, Richard had worked as an intellectual property attorney in Los Angeles for over 30 years. He is currently a partner in the firm, Pillsbury Law. Richard has been married to his wife, Nan, for 46 years and is a proud father and grandfather. He is active in the community with both the Jewish Home for the Aging and the Inner City Law Center.

Richard has been a participant in many clinical trials and is deeply committed to supporting the search for effective treatments and a cure for ALS. He also dedicates time to educating others about ALS, through community events and news interviews, to raise awareness about the disease and support for the ALS community.   

“Based upon the efforts of the ALS community, a cure is closer than ever,” said Richard. “I believe that a child born today, who may have ALS in their future, will have the benefits of our efforts. I have been blessed by the support of my incredible family and incomparable friends. Without their enduring love, it would be impossible to go forward. I want to thank the Golden West Chapter for their commitment to both finding a cure and safeguarding the right of people with ALS to lead as full and dignified life as possible.”    

Since 2016, Richard, along with his family and friends, has participated in the Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS as “Team RiZeUp” and have raised over $37,000 in support of the mission of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter. 

The 15th annual Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS® will be held on Sunday October 15, 2017 at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles CA. Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. with special opening ceremonies beginning at 10:15 a.m. and will feature speakers, the presentation of the 2017 Walk Hero Award and a special warm up. At 11:00 a.m., the 1 mile Walk will start in front of the historic Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and take participants through the beautiful rose garden before returning to Exposition Park.  The event is open to the public, and all funds raised support the mission-critical priorities of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter in Care Services, Public Policy, and Research.  This year’s goal is to raise $600,000 to advance the search for effective treatments and a cure for ALS and to serve the diverse, urgent needs of the ALS community in Los Angeles County.

Walkers can register for the 2017 Los Angeles Walk to Defeat ALS at  For more information about sponsoring, covering, or attending the event, please contact Jessica Partida, Regional Director of Community Outreach at  or (818) 865-8067 x 233.