When I was about 8 years old, I asked my mother about my grandmother, and she shared her mom died when she was 10 years old from “paralysis.” What my mother never knew was that I was afraid when I turned 10 years old, she would die of “paralysis,” just like her mom. Little did I know a mere 10 years later that fear would come true. And that is the beginning of my journey in life with the beast known as ALS.
In most cases, a person with a mutation in an ALS-linked gene usually has a 50-50 chance of passing it on to their children. But just because someone inherits an ALS-linked gene, it does not automatically mean they will develop the disease, and family members who develop ALS may have different disease experiences.
For people living with ALS, the enjoyment and escape video games may have once brought is far too often another thing the disease takes from them. As muscles weaken and fine motor functions decrease, handling video game controllers and keeping up with fast-paced game play can cause frustration and cause people to give up on gaming all together.
Jared Salomon lost his father to ALS in October of 2020 when he was just 29 and planning his engagement to his now beautiful wife, Maryn. While his father was not around to physically attend his wedding, he was there in spirit and left an amazing gift for his family and friends; a memory that will live on and be cherished forever.
In most people’s journey with ALS, they will be faced with the decision of using a feeding tube to help maintain proper nutrition and enhance their quality of life. We spoke with Craig Kloss and asked him to share his story about his personal experience with making this difficult decision, and the relief he and his family felt once they had made it.
For many people living with ALS, the decision to have a feeding tube placed, if or when it’s needed, is an important one, and as with many decisions that must be made during an ALS journey, it’s not of the one-size-fits-all variety. In recognition of Feeding Tube Awareness Week, we wanted to share some common concerns and misconceptions about them as well as some resources to help.
When Anjo Snijders was diagnosed with ALS in 2017 at the age of 35, he and his wife Sascha realized the vision of their future with their two young children in the Netherlands was forever changed. For both Anjo and Sascha, honesty with their children, age just seven and two at the time, was of great importance. Both teachers by trade, they began to look for resources to help explain their daddy’s illness, but found little if anything. And with that, the story of Luka and the Lights was born.
ALS doesn’t care where a person lives, and a person with ALS in Florence, Italy is as much in need of reliable care and resources as someone in Florence, South Carolina. At the International Alliance of ALS/MND Association meeting in late 2022, proud “Mapper” members Amanda Stanko, senior solution engineer at Esri, and Pat (who joined remotely) shared how they are taking their clinic mapping tool internationally to provide the resource for people with ALS around the world.
Looking back on the beginning of 2022, I would have never anticipated telling my family’s story to so many with the help of The ALS Association. I was working two jobs as a nurse, transitioning to another clinical position, all while trying to support my husband Lamar (diagnosed with ALS in 2018) with his goals toward completing his college degree, and maintaining the busyness of motherhood, raising our 8-year-old daughter.
For people with ALS, having access to an ALS multidisciplinary care center has been proven to both extend survival and enhance the quality of life for the people that attend. Clinics are neatly plotted on our locator map, making them easier for people living with ALS and their families to find.
A key component to making ALS a livable disease is multidisciplinary care. Studies have shown this specialized ALS care can extend survival and improve patients’ quality of life by providing coordinated interprofessional care that seeks to address the complex needs of people living with the disease.
The ALS Association has awarded more than $700,000 to support five promising early career scientists through its Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This program encourages a pipeline of ALS researchers and innovative ideas that can lead to better ALS treatments and care.
We spoke with Scott Kauffman, chairman of The ALS Association Board of Trustees and caregiver to his son, Stephen, who is living with ALS, to look back on the achievements made in 2022 and learn more about what he sees ahead in 2023.
More than 200 leaders from over 40 countries representing the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations' many member associations came together, both in person and virtually, to share updates on the progress being made around the world in ALS care, support, technology, science and organizational development.
Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned British scientist, professor, and author, is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history. But what Stephen was also well-known for was his extraordinary life living with ALS for more than 55 years. To celebrate what would have been his 81st birthday, one elementary school in Seattle is honoring his legacy by inspiring young readers to learn more about ALS while helping to fight the disease that took his life.
From the latest updates on ALS research and advocacy to information about caring for people living with ALS and inspiring stories from around the country, The ALS Association’s blog covered it all in 2022. Here is a quick look at the top ten posts our readers enjoyed most.