PODCAST: Fighting ALS with Hope and Happiness


September 25, 2018

Ed Rapp used only two sick days during his nearly 37 years at Caterpillar. It made the shock even greater when his career was cut short in 2015 with a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease. At the time, Ed – one of the company’s most experienced executives – was group president over Resource Industries. Named a group president in 2007 and chief financial officer in 2010, Ed’s Caterpillar journey took him all over the world many times over.

Ed’s influence and leadership style continues to be felt today as the 60-year old Missouri native focuses on the fight of his life to help find a cure for ALS. As you will hear in his own words, Ed talks about finding strength in family and despite his illness, having tremendous hope for the future.

Click here to read Ed’s book, ‘‘Measure Twice, Cut Once.’’ If you haven't seen it, in this book Ed mentions his document "10 Observations from the Field."

Stay up to date on Ed’s activities and developments in his fight against ALS.


Listen to the podcast to hear more from Ed Rapp. Show highlights are listed in the program guide below.

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Program Guide

  • 2:02 – Team Rapp focuses on raising money in the fight against ALS
  • 3:20 – Ed describes the moment when the first ALS symptoms appeared
  • 4:30 – A career full of decision-making is put to the test after diagnosis
  • 7:30 – Did Ed ever experience a “Why me?” moment
  • 10:20 – Ed’s BCP team implements the first version of the O&E Model
  • 13:15 – Remain calm and don’t stand up in the canoe
  • 18:35 – Ed using his Caterpillar skills and experience to battle ALS
  • 21:05 – The steep uphill climb to find ALS’ cause and cure
  • 26:45 – What does Ed hope people will remember about him?
  • 30:15 – The one word Ed would use to describe what it’s like to work at Caterpillar
  • 33:10 – The one thing Ed misses most today
Ed Rapp
Retired Caterpillar Executive Ed Rapp

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