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When Work Gets Personal with Kelly Luttinen

ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is random and rare with just 5,000 Americans (out of 329 million people) diagnosed each year. So the rate of occurrence in a city the size of Peoria, IL isn’t that high. But Associate Content Director, Kelly Luttinen, experienced the nightmare of the terrible disease firsthand. She helped care for her dad, who was battling the disease, until he passed. Whatsmore, she found herself faced with a challenging ask to create a video to promote a new endowment that had been established for ALS research and innovation.

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At the time of the project, Kelly was a senior copywriter on the OSF Healthcare Foundation account. Ed Rapp, a former Caterpillar executive had been diagnosed with ALS and was setting up an endowment for the OSF Illinois Neurological Institute to help find a cure. Simantel was asked to help raise awareness for ALS by creating a video to illustrate the reality of life experienced by ALS patients and their families, and ultimately paint a picture of hope. What were the odds that the writer for the project had lived it?

In this story you’ll hear Kelly explain how she overcame her initial feeling of dread to become a champion for the ALS community, what it was like collaborating with her team on such a personal project and why she selected this as her Point of Pride.

To hear more, head over to and check out our very special Season 6  where you can hear a full interview with Kelly and other Simantelites as they share their Point of Pride in celebration of our 40ish anniversary.

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