On the night of January 31st the charity concert #PorUnMundoSinELA took place at the Barclaycard Center of Madrid. Funds were raised for FUNDELA and Project MinE. The concert was a success at every level! It brought together 7,000 people who enjoyed the songs from 18 performers. But most importantly, the concert raised a total of €91,483 that was presented to FUNDELA on February 10th:
It was a magic night with four hours of rock ‘n roll, but more important with the real protagonist of the 4,000 ALS patients in Spain present together with the researchers working to understand this fatal disease and to find ways to treat these patients. Every artist performed two songs, many of them Spanish rock classics. The quality of the concert has been lauded by the critics. It is difficult to summarize what happened during those four hours but you watch clips of the performances and appreciate the great atmosphere in the Barclaycard center.
The most important message of the night was that all people that were participating in this event or had donated money in “row 0”, were supporting the efforts of FUNDELA and Project MinE to bring closer the day we will live in a world without ALS, the motto of this concert. The event was supported by many Spanish artists, celebrities and sports people and was extensively covered by the national media during the weeks before the concert helping to raise awareness about ALS in Spain. On the night of the concert live interviews with several of the performers were broadcasted on La Sexta national TV station. The president of FUNDELA, Dr. Jesus Mora-Pardina, explained to the audience what ALS is, what FUNDELA aims to do, how they are funding ALS research in Spain and what Project MinE is doing. His message was clear: Research is the only way forward to find a cure for ALS.
Many ALS patients and their families were present in the arena. They were able to feel the immense support of the people present in the arena who are helping to promote ALS research. All patients were represented on the stage by Carlos Matallanas, ALS patient and volunteer of FUNDELA, who, together with his family and friends, promoted the concert. Full of special moments, this was probably the most emotional one that night. Carlos asked the audience to pass his message on on behalf of the 4,000 Spanish ALS patients. As Carlos suffers from bulbar ALS and cannot longer speak he used a series of blackboards with the following messages:
“A very good night to all of you, thank you for joining our fight”
“We fight with the aim that very soon all of this is not necessary anymore”
“Today, we are closer to the day we will capture, judge and sentence a cruel killer”
“ALS can start to be getting scared because we are certain of your help”
“Everything is going to be fine”
All the money that was raised will be used to sequence DNA profiles of Spanish ALS patients within Project MinE. The effort to raise funds in Spain for FUNDELA will not stop here. There are already many initiatives announced to support FUNDELA and Project MinE.