Also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language.
"A" means no
"Myo" refers to muscle
"Trophic" means nourishment
"No muscle nourishment."
When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away.
"Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located.
As this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening (‘sclerosis’) in the region.
Familial ALS (FALS) accounts for 5-10% of all cases in the U.S. Familial ALS means the disease is inherited. In those families, there is a 50% chance each offspring will inherit the gene mutation and may develop the disease. French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot discovered the disease in 1869.
Sporadic, which is the most common form of the disease in the U.S, accounting for 90-95% of all cases.
It may affect anyone, anywhere.
5,000+ people are diagnosed every year between the ages of 40 and 70
Only 4 drugs are approved by the FDA to treat ALS
Someone is diagnosed or passes away from ALS every 90 minutes
2-5 years is the average expectancy of life
Bridgitte Hatfield entered the Mrs. Ohio Pageant in 2007.
The reigning Mrs. Ohio was Cay Stout.
Her husband was diagnosed and suffered from ALS. Her story of courage, devastation, and perseverance inspired her to start a team in Dayton, Ohio to support others financially, and emotionally, while they or their loved ones fight with dignity.
Her platform “Independent Life Begins at Home” is a story that I will never forget.
To donate, please click below – all proceeds are donated directly through the ALS Website.