May is ALS awareness month. We were first brought attention to this disease in 1939, when the cherished baseball player, Lou Gehrig, made us aware of the disease that bears his name. Eighty-two years later, we have made great strides in understanding some of the causes, but we are still working hard to assemble the pieces to this heart-breaking puzzle.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells. Simply put, ALS is a progressive disease that robs people of the ability to move, to speak and eventually, to breathe. Although it has been 82 years since Lou Gehrig brought attention to this, the cause of ALS is unknown, and there is still no known cure. We do know the disease strikes quickly, usually leading to death within 2–5 years of diagnosis.
For those that are suffering from the disease or for those caring for a loved one, there are resources. For those that want to volunteer their time, we encourage you to review the many ALS community services. It takes many dedicated people to help find a cure. For more information about this disease, visit the ALS Association.