Dash for a Cure

The Story Continues ...
What is ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease?
Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Motor Neurone Disease, MND in Europe, is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease that attacks the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. With over 350,000 people worldwide afflicted with ALS, the cause of the disease is still unknown. Ninety percent of patients diagnosed with ALS die within 5 years since there is currently no cure. The diseases itself has no prejudice – attacking anyone despite age, ethnicity or gender.

It is marked by gradual degeneration of the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. The disorder causes muscle weakness and atrophy; symptoms commonly appear in middle to late adulthood, with death in two to five years. The cause is unknown, and there is no known cure. Most people who develop ALS are between 40 and 70 and it is 20% more common in men than in women. CarolAnn's mother was diagnosed at age 76. Carol's family has just been afflicted with this disease as her cousin's husband was just diagnosed with ALS in 2007.

ALS is one of the most devastating disorders that affects the function of nerves and muscles. Based on US population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. That's 15 new cases each day. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. As CarolAnn travels and speaks with people about ALS, she's amazed at how many people know someone who has or had ALS. These people are happy to donate because they know the destructive nature of this disease and they also hope for a cure someday.

Lou Gehrig, with whom ALS is most commonly associated, first brought national and international attention to the disease back in 1939 when he abruptly retired from baseball after being diagnosed with ALS. However, ALS is not just Lou Gehrig's disease and it knows no boundaries. The disease has cut short the lives of such notable and courageous individuals as Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim "Catfish" Hunter; actor, Michael Zaslow; creator of Sesame Street, Jon Stone; actor, David Niven; boxing champion, Ezzard Charles; Pro Football player, Glenn Montgomery; and Senator, Jacob Javits. In 2003 while CarolAnn was flying her first world trip, Tom Watson's caddie was diagnosed with ALS. The golf community rallied and raised over $1,500,000 for ALS TDI.
For More Information
ALS Therapy Development Institute
To learn more about ALS please go to the ALS Therapy Development Institute web site by clicking here www.als.net.

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To donate to research and, hopefully, finding a treatment of ALS, please visit the donation page, or send a check to:

ALS Therapy Development Institute
480 Arsenal Street
Suite 201
Watertown, MA 02472

Thank you in advance for your donations to help fight this destructive illness.

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