Nancy O'Dell Launches Charity in Memory of Her Mom
08/21/2009 AT 03:30 PM EDT
The charity is named in honor of O'Dell's mother Betty, who died in June 2008 at the age of 74, seven months after being diagnosed with ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's Disease.
"I want to humanize ALS, so people understand what it does both to those who have it and to their families," says O'Dell, who founded the charity together with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). "ALS took one of the sweetest people who ever walked this earth. I want to do whatever I can to stop it from taking somebody else's loved one."
On Sunday, O'Dell will act as the celebrity backstage interviewer at the WWE's SummerSlam pay-per-view event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and will host a kick-off VIP party at h.wood club on Friday with Good Charlotte's Joel Madden serving as DJ.
This Labor Day weekend, O'Dell, who serves as the MDA National ALS Ambassador, will co-host the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for the second time in a year.