Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More on ALS...

Indulge me, please, for another post on ALS. My last blog on the subject was about our NC chapter's golf tournament. This is more serious, and I ask that you invest five to ten minutes with the content I'm posting.

Incidence of ALS among soldiers. This horrible disease has a historical connection with baseball heroes Lou Gehrig and Catfish Hunter, but an alarming link has developed with the military.

WRAL TV ran this story yesterday. CLICK HERE to view the video. TV5 anchor Debra Morgan provides and informative and moving story.

...and I commend this column to you. Tom Swift of Hendersonville writes for the Asheville Citizen-Times. He is losing his ability to speak, but not his eloquence:

Every three months I go to a clinic in Charlotte that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ALS. "Treatment" is an optimistic word, for there is no treatment or cure for ALS at present, only the management of symptoms. At each clinic I take a breathing test to measure my lung functioning. I breathe as long and as hard as I can into a tube that measures me against a standard based upon my age, weight, gender, and so forth. The first couple of times I took the test I exceeded the standard and scored over one hundred percent. During the last two years, my lung function capacity has gradually declined to seventy-six percent. While this is no reason for immediate alarm, it is objective evidence that the disease is robbing me of my health. It is evidence that ALS will eventually kill me.

...and I commend the Jim "Catfish" Hunter ALS Assn to you for a special Holiday Season gift. Capitol Broadcasting Co., the Durham Bulls and Wolfpack Sports Marketing are big supporters. Join the team!

Thanks, gh