ALS Awareness Month: The Long Road Since Lou Gehrig

May 19, 2015 - als

naples-herald-dot-logo-20x20 (1)Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, is a neurodegenerative disease…a condition that yields a decrease of neurons and haughtiness structure in a tellurian brain.  Lacking both a famous means and a cure, ALS affects a lives of over 300,000 people worldwide, 30,000 nationally and over 1,500 here in Florida.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is on-going and a debilitating symptoms means those inflicted to remove their ability to speak…to walk…to eat…and, ultimately, to breathe.  ALS induces stoppage and robust degeneration.  Those diagnosed with a illness can usually expect a life outlook of 2 to 5 years after initial diagnosis…with any day increasingly some-more formidable and debilitating than a one prior.

ALS, improved famous as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” shows no disposition per age, competition or gender.  Gehrig, himself, was only bashful of his 36th birthday during diagnosis and weeks brief of his 38th birthday during a time of his passing.  Gehrig was a world-class contestant when doctors during a Mayo Clinic detected a appearance of a disease.

July 4th, of this year, will simulate a flitting of 76 years given Gehrig stood before a weeping Yankee Stadium fans and pronounced goodbye.  Regretfully, scarcely 8 decades later, a heal has remained fugitive and unattainable.

May is ALS Awareness Month and we had a good happening to consult with Julie Niehoff, Director of Marketing and Communications for The ALS Association Florida Chapter.

Gary Levine:  For many, a discuss of ALS brings onward images of Lou Gehrig, station before a microphone in 1939.  Although 76 years is a poignant camber to cover, how would we promulgate a advances finished over this period?

Julie Niehoff: Progress has been delayed – though poignant advances have been finished in a final 10 years, especially. More genes have been identified and some-more companies are concerned in a ALS investigate space to rise treatments.

Gary Levine:  Can we tell us some-more about a Fort Meyers Virtual Walk?  What else is being finished in Lee and Collier Counties to emanate recognition and beget funding?

Julie Niehoff: The ALS Association Florida Chapter is vehement about a enlargement of a Chapter’s Fund Development efforts into Southwest Florida, stretching between Sarasota and Monroe counties and, of course, enveloping a Fort Myers and Naples areas.  Part of a Chapter’s vital master devise is to continue providing caring to a many patients, families, and those overwhelmed by ALS in Southwest Florida.  Because all of a services and programs are giveaway to patients and their families, village support is critical.  It is by a tough work and loyalty of Ft. Myers’ and Naples’ residents that a enterprise to move even some-more support and resources into a area has been serve fueled.  The Chapter now hosts monthly support groups in both a Naples and Ft. Myers areas as partial of a Care Services programs, in further to carrying a longtime internal Care Manager formed out of Naples. In 2016, we wish to launch a Ft.Myers/Naples Walk to Defeat ALS, bringing a inhabitant signature eventuality to your backyard.

Gary Levine:  Of course, but a clear ball, one can't envision a future.  However, formed on stream investigate and medical advancement, where are we headed?

Julie Niehoff: Where we’re headed is removing some-more intensity treatments into clinical trials. That’s because it’s so critical to continue to support people vital with a illness by a section network. Because a diagnosis won’t be found in a lab, it will be found in a studious vital with a illness by their appearance in clinical trials.

Every 90 minutes, on average, another diagnosis is confirmed.  Within that same 90 notation period, another case will stoop to this neurodegenerative horror.  While a ALS Ice-bucket plea gratefully brought poignant courtesy to a disease, so most some-more needs to be done.

For additional information per Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a ALS Association of Florida or information per a many fun and profitable fundraising events, greatfully revisit a ALS Association web site during webfl.alsa.org or call (888) 257-1717.


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