Senate votes to honor Cellucci with state ALS registry

Former governor grateful for support; champions ALS research at UMMS

By Lisa M. Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

May 24, 2013


cellucci-paulFormer Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci, who helped launch the UMass ALS Champion Fund two years ago after disclosing his own diagnosis with the disease, is “honored and humbled” by the state Senate vote to name the state ALS registry after him.

“The proposal to attach my name to the Commonwealth’s ALS Registry is a most gracious gesture,” Gov. Cellucci said in a statement. “I thank my friends and colleagues for their unyielding support. ALS is a formidable illness, but each and every day the researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – and at similar institutions around the world – are making important advances that bring us closer to therapies for tomorrow’s patients.

“I am so proud to support the brilliant research happening at our state’s public medical school through my work with the UMass/ALS Champion Fund. Today, I am also grateful to the members of the legislature, who once again have demonstrated their steadfast commitment to ALS patients, and the vital search for a cure.”

The Senate voted on May 23 to adopt an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 budget to establish the Argeo Paul Cellucci Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Registry through the Department of Public Health.

The amendment was sponsored by Senate President Therese Murray, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Senator Stephen Brewer and Minority Leader Senator Bruce Tarr.

“Paul Cellucci is a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly, every day of his career, to help the people in his communities and to better the Commonwealth,” Murray said. “He is an incredible and strong person, and an outstanding and respected leader. Paul has gone above and beyond to raise awareness and funding for the ALS community since he was diagnosed and I am proud that the ALS Registry will bear his name.”

“Former Governor Paul Cellucci is a good friend and valued colleague,” said Brewer. “To name the ALS registry for him is a fitting tribute to his legacy here in Massachusetts as a dedicated public servant and a fair and effective leader.”

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to former Governor Paul Cellucci for his dedicated and tireless service to this state,” said Tarr. “We are a greater Commonwealth because of him, and even after he has left the service of public office, Governor Cellucci continues to be a great source of inspiration as he raises public awareness of ALS, and leads efforts to raise funds for valuable research to end this disease. The registry we now name for him will contribute substantially to that research.”

The Champion Fund, at www.UMassALS.com, was launched two years ago by Chancellor Michael Collins and Gov. Cellucci to drive awareness and funding for the ALS breakthroughs happening at UMass Medical School and in the laboratory of Robert H. Brown, Jr., DPhil, MD one of the world’s leading and most promising ALS researchers.