Mary Beth Angione and her sister, Kathleen Munchow, featured here in San Diego a few hours before the 2019 BASH.
A note from Augie and Lynne:
Last month, Jenny Craig hosted its annual fundraiser for Augie’s Quest, engaging its team members country wide in rallying around a cause that really hits home for this company. And, they just doubled their goal – donating more than $200,000 for our shared cause! We are so thankful for their passion, support and efforts each year in our quest.
It’s an incredible testament to Jenny Craig’s commitment to ending ALS. Their reasons are personal, as too many of their own employees have faced this disease. Lauren Wittenburg was a top Jenny Craig executive who lost her battle in 2013 and was the original inspiration and connection to Augie’s Quest. And now, two sisters, each leaders in the Jenny Craig family are both now battling this disease. This month we’ll hear from Mary Beth Angione in her own words about their personal fight with ALS – and her sister, Kathleen’s, too.
As we head into another holiday season with friends and family, please take a moment and learn about Mary Beth and Kathleen’s story – these are two incredible women you must hear from. Lynne and I met them last year at our BASH event in San Diego, when Kathleen had been diagnosed; and Mary Beth didn’t yet know she would soon be, too. They are the reason we’re in this fight and are so deserving of our support, love and absolute commitment to finding a cure as fast as we possibly can. Here is the letter she wrote to the employees of Jenny Craig ahead of their fundraising campaign for Augie’s Quest.
This is Mary Beth, the Center Director for Jenny Craig at Gateway here in Austin. I have been with Jenny Craig for 8 years and have loved getting to know you and watching your transformations. I love this job so much. I love each and every one of you who walk through the door. Not many people get to say they love their job the way I do working at Jenny Craig. I have made so many connections and friendships while working here. I come away with love every day.
Many of you know that last year my sister Kathleen was diagnosed with ALS. She was formerly the manager at the Jenny Craig Center in Cedar Park, TX. We also lost our VP of Operations to ALS several years ago, so the cause is close to the heart of Jenny Craig. Every October, Jenny Craig raises money for ALS research. Because of your generosity here last October, we were able raise a lot of money for research. Kathleen and I were given the opportunity to travel to Augie’s Quest Bash in San Diego to represent Jenny Craig.
Little did I know one year later…
Many of you have noticed that I have had trouble with my speech. I have been absent from my job and from you lately. Two weeks ago today, I was diagnosed with ALS. It has been affecting my voice and ability to talk. I have also become very fatigued. If you know me, I go go go. So you know this is not me. The form of ALS I have been diagnosed with is called Bulbar. Because of this, I am no longer able to work with you all like I used to.
I will miss each and every one of you so much. I have a special place in my heart for all my Jenny peeps.
I’m gonna keep fighting and keep going. You know me, I’m not one to give up. I’m going to keep smiling and hugging and loving on people. I’ve never met a stranger and I won’t stop now.
What I want to say to you is to let the transformations continue. Keep reaching for your dreams. You can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t give up on yourselves. You got this.