ORANGE COUNTY, CA—February 24—With deep sadness, Augie’s Quest shares the news that its founder, beloved leader and ALS champion, Augie Nieto, died, surrounded by his family on February 22, 2023, just seven days past his 65th birthday.
Augie was the fitness industry mogul credited for the success of Lifecycle, Life Fitness and Octane Fitness brands. In 2005, at the height of his career, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.
Shortly after his diagnosis, he and his wife Lynne, co-founded Augie’s Quest, a nonprofit laser focused on raising the funds and awareness needed to advance cutting-edge research and fast-track effective treatments to ultimately cure ALS. With the fierce tenacity he used to revolutionize the modern-day fitness industry, Augie, expended that same high-energy and business acumen to transform how ALS research is conducted today.
Since 2005, under Augie’s leadership, nearly $200 million has been raised for ALS research. These funds helped to establish the Augie’s Quest Translational Research Center at the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) to better understand the mechanisms of how ALS affects the body and use the knowledge to develop new, more effective treatments for the disease. A crowning achievement, Augie’s Quest funding has led to development of Tegoprubart (formerly AT-1501), one of the most promising ALS treatments in development today and marks the very first time in history a non-profit organization research project has reached this stage of drug development.
As a leader in an industry dedicated to maintaining muscle strength and performance, it is tragic irony that Augie’s disease robbed him of the strength and use of his body. But ALS could not take away his fierce competitive nature, determination, drive and love of life, friends and family. A visionary and true hero to so many ALS families, Augie galvanized the global fitness industry, corporate partners, individual donors, ALS families and friends, to join forces to change the way people live with ALS.
In Augie’s own words: “Please keep me in your hearts…please help continue the progress of Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS. Please help Lynne to carry on the mission—the second finest achievement of my life. Because I will be in your heart, I will get to experience the joy when we discover a cure.”