The state-of-the-art wheelchair that transported actor James Woods portraying a person with ALS on an episode of NBCs ER last season will be auctioned online at cMarket [www.alsa.cmarket.com] beginning today. The ALS Association will use proceeds from the auction to fund research and programs for people living with Lou Gehrigs disease.

The C500 Corpus model wheelchair was donated to the Association by Permobil Inc, Lebanon, Tenn, and its hand-free eye communication system was donated by Eye Response Technologies, Charlottesville, NC.

James Woods portrayal of Dr. Nate Lennox was a watershed moment in the quest to raise public awareness about this devastating disease, says Gary A. Lep, president and CEO of the Association. The winning bidder will own a piece of television history and help us enormously in helping others.

Woods, who was nominated for an Emmy for the role, and the cast of ER, signed the C500, a front-wheel drive model that works indoors and outdoors, and offers its users a variety of practical functions.

Before ER was filmed, the Association arranged for Woods to meet with six people with ALS. They provided him with advice on how to play the role, while the Association served as a technical consultant to the episode, Body and Soul.

After Woods was nominated for his latest Emmy, he told the Hollywood Reporter that the people with ALS he met with let him into their lives, an experience he called spiritually affecting.

They were incredibly brave people, Woods says. They were essentially baring their souls. They were all so giving, with everything they did.

[SOURCE: ALS Association, August 18, 2006]