An ALS Awareness Day Declared

Litchfield (Conn.) County Times: The Bulletin—June 7, 2012

Bethel Health Care and the Westchester, N.Y., office of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ALS Division is orchestrating a Greater Danbury Area ALS Summit on Research and Resources to heighten awareness of the devastating neuromuscular disease called ALS—amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The event will take place at Bethel Health Care on Wednesday, June 27, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Similar MDA-sponsored events are occurring nationwide.

For more than 50 years, MDA has been the leading nongovernmental funding source of research seeking treatments and a cure for the deadly disease that affects more than 30,000 adult Americans, with 5,000 learning they have the disease every year. On average, most people die within three to five years after their ALS diagnosis. The disease destroys nerve cells that control the body’s voluntary muscles, including those that support breathing. Eventually, nearly all of these muscles become paralyzed.

The event held at Bethel Health Care will begin with a presentation on MDA’s efforts to provide help and hope to those affected through its research, services, advocacy and educational programs. Mona Shahbazi, nurse practitioner and research assistant to Dr. Dale Lange (chairman of neurology at Hospital for Special Surgery) will present the audience with research updates, followed by various speakers from the community that will offer solutions to the challenges that families affected by ALS face each day.

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