Largest gift in Quebec for ALS


Published: 6Oct2011

Donation from the Reed Family / Tenaquip Foundation propels research and clinical care at The Neuro

The largest gift towards ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) research and patient care in Quebec will help to significantly advance understanding of this devastating disease and facilitate the development of treatments and therapies. The $2-million donation by the Reed Family / The Tenaquip Foundation is enabling The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, at McGill University to establish the new Reed Family Motor Neuron Disease Research Unit as well as to expand ALS clinical facilities to enhance services and care for patients.

ALS commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a deadly neurodegenerative disease, affecting approximately 3,000 Canadians. The majority of patients die within 2 to 5 years of their diagnosis.  The main symptom is muscle weakness that progressively reaches the point of paralysis and prevents a person from breathing. ALS is a result of the death of motor neurons - nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

The donation by the Reed Family / Tenaquip Foundation has facilitated the launch of the new Reed Family Motor Neuron Disease Research Unit at The Neuro which will be equipped with cutting-edge laboratories, resources and equipment to propel multi-disciplinary research into motor neuron disease by top-tier scientists. The Reed Family’s support will also improve ALS clinical facilities at The Neuro, as well as services, treatment and care of ALS patients and their families.

“Supporting health research is a core priority for The Tenaquip Foundation,” said Mrs Shirley Reed, the Foundation’s president. “We are proud to collaborate with the tremendous clinical and research expertise of The Neuro.  The hope is that this will lead to new therapies and renewed hope for the thousands of Canadians affected by ALS.  We have experienced how difficult ALS is for patients and their families. My husband Ken Reed, founder of Tenaquip Limited, passed away from ALS a few years ago. He had always wanted to set up a charitable foundation to assist organizations to meet their objectives, so this partnership with The Neuro is extremely important to us as a family and as a foundation.”

“We are deeply appreciative of the vision and exceptional philanthropy of the Reed Family and The Tenaquip Foundation,” said Dr. Philip Barker, Interim Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute. “ALS is one of the most tragic neurological diseases. This donation has enabled us to assemble a top notch multidisciplinary team to investigate the disease from novel angles and perspectives and will allow us to make important strides in understanding and eventually treating ALS and other diseases. One new research avenue will be examining mitochondria – the main energy producers of the body – and the role that their dysfunction plays in motor neuron diseases.”

“Providing the most advanced and compassionate care to our patients, and conducting state-of-the art research are principal missions of The Neuro,” added Ms. Martine Alfonso, Interim Director of the Montreal Neurological Hospital, “and private funding that supports these objectives, such as the generous gift from the Reed Family and Tenaquip Foundation, is critical for us to achieve our goals.“


The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital:

The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro, is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, The Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. Neuro researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. The Montreal Neurological Institute was named as one of the Seven Centres of Excellence in Budget 2007, which provided the MNI with $15 million in funding to support its research and commercialization activities related to neurological disease and neuroscience.

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