Internationally renowned artists, Toto, has joined with The ALS Association to bolster public awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) during the band’s 2013 North American tour.

In addition, the band members have initiated “Team TOTO,” a nationwide effort to support the Walk to Defeat ALS, The Association’s largest national signature event.

Members of the band have become involved with the cause in honor of TOTO’s bassist Michael Porcaro, who stopped touring with the Grammy-Award winning band in 2007 due to growing numbness in his fingers. He was later diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The disease robs people of the ability to walk, to talk and even blink an eye. It traps them inside a body they no longer can control and ultimately prevents them from breathing as it takes their life. There is no known cause of the disease.

“We were very excited when the members of TOTO expressed an interest in helping to raise ALS awareness,” said ALS Association President and CEO Jane Gilbert. “While this is a unique opportunity to bring more people to the cause, our heart goes out to Michael, his family and friends, and to everyone who has enjoyed his music over the years. The ALS Association offers a message of hope in the pursuit of our vision to create a world without ALS.”

During TOTO’s 2013 concert tour, the band will partner with ALS Association Chapters in concert locations to provide information about the disease and invite fans to join Team TOTO, the band’s own Walk to Defeat ALS team. Fans can participate virtually, and they can attend any of the 170 Walk events held in cities across the nation. For information about Michael Porcaro, the partnership and a Walk to Defeat ALS event in your area, visit mikeporcaro.com and www.alsa.org/TOTO.

“As Mike’s parents we are pleased and feel honored that ALS has chosen to be associated with TOTO. It sounds like a great partnership,” said Eileen & Joe Porcaro, parents of Mike and Steve.

For more information about TOTO and their 2013 North American tour, visit www.totoofficial.com.

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