In September 2008, historian Tony Judt (A manifesto for a new politics, Saturday Review, 20 March) was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – better known as motor neurone disease. Tony is my former professor, mentor and close friend. Like so many, I have benefited from knowing him in more ways than I could begin to list. In 18 months I watched Tony transform from a fit, healthy, active, independent man to a frozen body able to breathe only with the aid of a machine. On 15 May I will embark on a cycle ride from Seattle to New York to raise money for Project ALS, which has raised over $53m towards scientific research. In collaboration with Tony and Project ALS, we have built a website ( to spearhead the campaign. I believe that, during my lifetime, a cure can be discovered for this catastrophic disease. Please join us.

Saul Goldberg

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