If you haven't seen the video of Augie Nieto's appearance on the "Today Show" on Wednesday of this week, I urge you to watch it. Nieto was on the show with his wife, Lynne, as the couple talked about his battle with ALS and the release of his book "Augie's Quest: One Man's Journey from Success to Significance."
You can view the video and get information about the book, which will be released on Nov. 13, on Nieto's Web site.
It was an emotional interview conducted by Natalie Morales of the "Today Show." She had interviewed Nieto a year ago when he was still able to walk. On Wednesday, Nieto was in a wheelchair, unable to move and speaking with extreme difficulty. Lynne was by his side and did most of the talking for Nieto. Morales will emcee the Beach Bash for Augie's Quest on March 7, 2008, as part of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) conference in San Diego.
It was a hard interview to watch, not just because both Morales and Nieto became emotional during the segment. It was also hard to watch because Nieto is someone that many people in the industry have gotten to know over his career as a vital, good-looking, hard-working business owner and person. To see the effect this disease is having on him makes the disease even more personal and the desire to find a cure even more urgent, I would think, for most people in this industry.
However, despite the difficulty in watching the interview, I also found it uplifting. The interview wasn't intended to be a cryfest. It wasn't there to make us pity this once vital man. Instead, the purpose was to show how through adversity, Nieto had found added significance to his life. Lynne Nieto was able to hold it together during the interview to make this point.
The Nietos' lives are now focused on the mission of finding a cure for ALS. I encourage those of you who plan to attend the IHRSA conference to join them in this mission. You can do so by signing up for the Beach Bash, which will be a fundraising event for ALS. You can also support the couple in their mission by purchasing Nieto's book. The proceeds will help fund research to find a cure for ALS. -Pam