David Blecken
Jun 22, 2015

End ALS Association aims to spread hope on World ALS Day

TOKYO - To mark World ALS Day today, a crowdfunded commercial initiated by ALS patient and advertising professional Hiro Fujita aims to raise awareness of the disease and its potential treatments.

Campaign Asia-Pacific announced the development of the campaign on 8 June. The work was funded by JapanGiving, a fundraising platform, on behalf of the End ALS Association, which Fujita founded. Fujita is a planner at McCann Worldgroup in Tokyo.

The commercial features Fujita, who is unable to speak directly due to a tracheotomy. Recording artist AI, a supporter of End ALS and a friend of Fujita's, speaks on his behalf to convey the message that in certain countries, ALS sufferers have access to "safe but unproven treatments" and in some cases are showing signs of recovery.

In Japan, the disease is seen as incurable, and treatment is limited and difficult to access. In addition, global awareness of ALS remains low, despite initiatives such as last year's 'Ice Bucket Challenge', which Fujita also participated in.

"We wait for the day where patients everywhere can try the clinical trials, to prove that ALS can be cured," Fujita says through AI. Through a computer, he continues: "Let's eliminate the words 'incurable disease'".

The video above is an English version. Here is the Japanese version:


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