The world lost a hero on October 17 when Ted Harada, beloved friend and dedicated advocate for the ALS Community, passed away at the age of 44. He is survived by his wife Michelle, and his three children, Theodore, Jordan, and Ashleigh. He will be deeply missed by all whose lives were touched by him.
Ted gave so much to so many and never stopped fighting for others. His amazing life story and his dedication to advocating for increased research funding for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and benefits for people with the disease were an inspiration to all.
Ted fought in the the “Right to Try” movement to allow people with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to receive experimental treatments. He, himself, participated in clinical trials at Emory University in 2012 and had neural stem cells injected into his spinal column to test the effectiveness of a potential therapy. Amazingly, Ted’s ALS symptoms began to reverse following this treatment, and he was able to put away his cane and begin to regain his strength. His story has given hope to people with ALS and other terminal illnesses. His bravery is an inspiration to all.
Ted served on The ALS Association Board of Trustees and on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Chapter. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and worked with the Homeless Ministries.
Early this year, Ted was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an inoperable brain cancer. With great courage, determination, and optimism, Ted began a second battle for his life. He continued to post uplifting and inspirational messages on Facebook throughout his struggle.
Cheryl had the honor of meeting Ted at the 2014 National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. He immediately greeted her as a friend. It is a moment she’ll always treasure.
Ismail and Cheryl are grateful for the touching Introduction Ted wrote for their book, One Blink At a Time, in which he wrote “Ismail’s and Cheryl’s story has touched my heart and soul and reminds me why the advocacy work that we do for the ALS community is so crucial.”
Ted will live in the hearts of everyone he and his important work have touched and will continue to be an inspiration to all.
Watch a video of Ted speaking about stem cell research
Read an article about Ted’s Right to Try life story