ALS Awareness Month

tt-als-awareness-2.gifThe formal name for ALS fits in a tongue-lashing category (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and its effects are even more difficult to bear.

ALS sat in the dugout of inattention until the great Lou Gehrig, the famous first baseman for the New York Yankees, cut his career short because of it. He was 36 years old. The disease strikes the body’s motor system at the brain and spinal cord.

In recent years, who could forget the photos of another wrinkled-up, bent-over victim, Stephen Hawking, who was probably the best-known physicist since Albert Einstein?

Here is what Hawking had to say about ALS: “If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in: If one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well.”

Hawking lived an intellectual life of stupendous proportions despite the crippling effects of the disease. And during this month, ALS Awareness Month, it is appropriate to offer some hope to those afflicted with it or those who care about someone who has the disease.

Admittedly, so many of us are now aware of this disease as a result of the proliferation of the “ALS ice bucket challenge” that took over social media nearly five years ago. I too joined the effort, and it afforded me the opportunity to meet and spend time with my friend, Milt Sierra, who unfortunately has since succumbed to ALS.  You may ask, what resulted from endless videos of people getting ice dumped over their heads? Well, besides increased public awareness, over $100 million was donated for ALS research.

In this blog, we often draw attention to social movements or organizations that center on a particular illness or disease. We do so because we hope to create awareness and educate. This is why we always share essential facts about these diseases, ranging from danger signs to organizations that raise funds for research. And yes, ultimately, what we are also seeking is support, usually through donations. This is particularly important if the condition is less well-known or the numbers don’t create immediate, overwhelming alarm. But the goal remains the same: raising money for a cure. It’s really is as simple as that. Researchers in the bio-medical field spend countless hours writing proposals for research that might lead to improved treatments or a cure. ALS is no exception. You can learn more at the ALS Association.

Important ALS Facts.

  • ALS is not contagious.
  • Although the life expectancy of a person with ALS averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable, and many people can live with the disease for five years or more. More than half of all people with ALS live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • Once ALS starts, it almost always progresses, eventually taking away the ability to walk, dress, write, speak, swallow, and breathe and shortening the life span. How fast and in what order this occurs are very different from person to person. While the average survival time is three years, about 20% of people with ALS live five years, 10% will survive 10 years, and 5% will live 20 years or more.
  • Progression is not always a straight line in an individual either. It is not uncommon to have periods lasting weeks to months where there is very little or no loss of function. There are even very rare examples in which there is significant improvement and recovery of lost function. These ALS "arrests" and "reversals" are unfortunately usually transient. Less than 1% of patients with ALS will have significant improvement in function lasting 12 months or more.
  • Approximately 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people and estimated that there are at least 16,000 Americans may be living with ALS at any given time.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries and can affect anyone.
  • Military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.
  • The onset of ALS often involves muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follow.
  • There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health caregiving later in the disease. It is important to be knowledgeable about your health plan coverage and other programs for which you may be eligible, including Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veteran Affairs benefits.

Source: The ALS Association

Given the dreadful effects of ALS, it isn’t easy to fight the despair that accompanies its diagnosis. That’s why your support for continued research is vital to the relentless journey to eradicate this disease. We need your support.

That’s my take, what’s yours?

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  • Jones Rosary
    commented 2024-01-14 17:35:11 -0500
    A lot of people believe there is no cure for ALS disease, which is not true. Everyone has to understand that natural treatment is the best among all. My Dad is 100% fine after using Dr Agumba ALS herbal product. I’m so happy that he got healed and I do believe in natural herbs right from the beginning especially when you got it from a good and understanding naturopathic. It’s better and more active for getting rid of every disease. Anyone who needs ALS herbal cure, here is Dr Agumba Email [email protected]
  • chantel william
    commented 2023-05-17 06:23:09 -0400
    I don’t understand these results. All of the recent studies show obesity and type 2 diabetes as reducing risk for ALS. But Akkermansia  is thought to help ameliorate obesity and type 2 diabetes. Nicotinamide gives people a lot of energy so it makes sense that it would be linked with increased metabolism. But it seems many ALS patients have a problem with increased metabolism. I just wonder how if it is really working the way they are guessing and i’m given you 100% that this([email protected]) have cure for ALS, they cure my uncle who was 78 years of age, please try to contact them and they cure so much disease with pure herbal herbs 
  • Virginia Brown
    commented 2022-01-06 20:31:22 -0500
    My Multiple Sclerosis symptoms started out with muscle weakness and slurred speech. I could not tolerate the medications prescribed for long. I started on MS Herbal Treatment from Dr Sims Gomez herbal formula to help my Multiple Sclerosis condition, I had a significant recovery with this natural treatment. You can contact: WhatsApp +27731060717 Email: [email protected]
  • Sherry Reid
    commented 2019-06-03 08:46:13 -0400
    I have been suffering from amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS) disease for the last three years and had constant pain, especially in my knees.I was tripping and unable to get upstairs due to (ALS), My doctor put me on riluzole, letting me know there was no cure but the medication might provide me a few more months of delayed symptoms.The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating. The psychological support from the medical centre was non-existent and if it were not for the sensitive care and attention of my primary physician, I would have died. There has been little if any progress in finding a cure. With the help of Organic Clinic natural herbs I have been able to reverse my symptoms using herbs, which i feel has made the most difference. The ALS natural formula immensely helped my condition, it reversed my ALS. my slurred speech. And then the inability to eat without getting choked, and the Pains. gradually disappeared. Visit Organic Herbal Clinic via their official web-site www. organicherbalclinic. com. I’m now playing golf again. and i turned 68 today. DON’T GIVE UP HOPE!!