Avi Kremer was diagnosed with ALS in 2004. The Harvard Business School student thought he was on top of the world, until his doctor told him he only had a few more years to live. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) triggers a degeneration of the motor neurons, causing the body’s muscles to quickly degenerate and eventually stop. Brain capacity remains, but eventually, patients lose the ability to breathe.
Born in Israel, Kremer spent four years in the Israeli military, where he became a captain. He earned his computer science degree and got a job at a national defense technology company. Then he applied and was accepted into Harvard, hoping to eventually land a job at a Fortune 500 company. ALS didn’t affect Kremer’s goals; he graduated in 2006.
He then founded Prize4Life. It’s an organization that awards cash prizes to the best innovations in ALS research. They award at least $1 million to each winner. The organization offers prizes for the creation of new ALS treatments and for a biomarker that can track the progression of the disease. Currently, survival time is the only way to track the success of an ALS treatment.
Kremer, currently Prize4Life’s CEO, can no longer walk and he struggles to talk. Whether or not Prize4Life is able to help him personally, with the innovation he’s encouraging, Kremer’s legacy will last for years.