A-L-S- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
A-L-S. Those three letters never held much significance for me until nearly 10 years ago, when I learned I have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
For those who don't know, ALS is a ruthless killer; it gradually paralyzes all voluntary muscles, including those used for walking, talking, swallowing and breathing. There's no cure, and most people survive only about three to five years.
One thing about receiving such a terrible diagnosis - you learn who you can count on. My family and friends are absolutely amazing. In addition, the Muscular Dystrophy Association provides invaluable help.
Besides sponsoring a worldwide program of ALS research, MDA provides me with medical care at St. Anthony’s Neurology Clinic in St. Petersburg. MDA has helped me obtain expensive assistive equipment, and its support groups and online communities offer advice and hope.
May is National ALS Awareness Month and in this area MDA sponsored a Lock-Up on Wednesday, May 13, at the St. Petersburg Bayfront Hilton.
ALS attacks healthy adults in the prime of life – like me. This May, please help conquer this disease by supporting MDA. To learn more, call (800) 572-1717 or visit www.als-mda.org.
- Terry Wade, St. Petersburg
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