View Full Version : ALS Community Looses An Amazing Human Being!

1st February 2012, 23:43
I am passing on the following notice from the President & CEO of the ALS Association Golden West Chapter as I feel that the ALS community has lost an amazing human being.

I personally had the opportunity to work and get to know Dr. Olney and his family shortly after he was diagnosed and I can vouch for the fact that in all my years of working with Clients living with catastrophic illnesses I have never met anyone as motivated and as driven as he was to identify treatments and ultimately a cure. He will be deeply missed by the ALS community, his family, friends and acquaintances.
Thank you Dr Olney for you incredible contributions!

From The President of the ALS Association-Golden West Chapter:
It is with great sadness that I share with you that on Friday, January 27, surrounded by his family at his home in Northern California, Dr. Richard K. Olney passed away peacefully after an eight-year battle with ALS. An announcement is being prepared to send to the entire National ALS community later today, as well as to the media. Our Chapter has also written a special article, profiling Olney’s contributions to the ALS community and his journey with the disease.

For those of you who may not know, Dr. Olney was a neurologist who dedicated his life to ALS research and patient care. He was internationally known for his clinical innovations, devotion to teaching, groundbreaking neurophysiological research and a strong belief in the team approach to the management of ALS. In 1993, Dr. Olney founded the ALS Center at UCSF to provide multi-disciplinary care to people with ALS, which became an ALS Association Certified Center of Excellence in 2001. As a neurologist and ALS researcher, he has written more than 60 scientific papers and is known throughout the world as a leader in the ALS community.

In June 2004, Dr. Olney himself was diagnosed with ALS. Since that time, he continued in his efforts to help fight Lou Gehrig's disease. He became an active participant in clinical research trials. Olney continued to raise public awareness in the media through numerous articles and interviews
featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Wall Street Journal,
ABC World News Tonight, 20/20, CBS Morning and Evening News to name a few. Because of his incredible commitment and efforts, he was named our Chapter's ALS All Star Award Recipient in 2007. As a person living with ALS, Dr. Olney was regarded as a role model world-wide, due to his dedication to educate the public, efforts to advance research towards a cure, and sharing his experiences with the disease.

In his private life, he cherished his family deeply, including his wife Paula of 38 years; daughter Amy and son-in-law, Ryan Dobbs; son Nicholas Olney, daughter-in-law, Caroline, and new grandson Richard Knox Olney, known as "little Ricky", as well as many friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Dr. Olney and his family were dedicated supporters of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter. They attended and participated in many Chapter advocacy efforts, fundraising events, and community events like our Walks and Rides. His family is grateful for the support and kindnesses extended to them by the entire ALS community. You may send your own personal message to the family any time you wish.

Neurology has lost a visionary researcher, a compassionate healer, and an inspiring mentor. His legacy leaves behind a clinic that only his compassionate spirit could have built, and will forever be the foundation of The ALS Center at UCSF. The world has lost an amazing human being.

Fred Fisher, LCSW, MSW
President and CEO
The ALS Association Golden West Chapter

2nd February 2012, 09:08
Sorry to hear Dr. Olney passed on. I knew of him, but didn't have the pleasure of talking with him. Thoughts go out to his family and friends x

2nd February 2012, 10:58
Sorry to hear of this loss of a man who clearly fought this illness. I am yet to come to terms with my own situation but I set up a just giving page within days of being home and i am pleased to say that its raised £87.50 from people i know and some complete strangers. I hope that every penny helps someone like this gentleman find a cure for us all!


10th February 2012, 19:13
My thoughts go out to all his family and to the ALS association over there in the States,

Very sad to hear about losing such a good guy who spent so much of his time trying to find a cure.

This news deeply saddens me as it hits home more as my wife is from the states and the ALS association does do so much for their people rather than what i have found here in the UK so far.

May Dr. Richard K. Olney rest in peace now and his family know that not only did they lose a respected man in the ALS community but lose a kind and loving caring man.

R.I.P Richard. peace be with you my friend

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