by Emily Brechting, Ph.D.
For many of us, ALS is something we think about abstractly with little awareness of the realities of ALS. Perhaps we call to mind famous athletes like Lou Gehrig and Steve Gleason or the remarkable scientist Stephen Hawking. But for those in the ALS community, that abstract concept becomes concrete when the diagnosis is given to us or someone we love.
For me, ALS became personal four years ago when my friend Scott received the diagnosis. An avid distance runner, his was experiencing an odd cluster of symptoms initially attributed to a running injury. As the alternative explanations were ruled out, Scott and his community of supporters were confronted with those life-changing letters: ALS.
The Susan Mast ALS Foundation rallies around patients and families as they process the diagnosis and navigate the progression of the disease. Our staff provide guidance, equipment, resources, and encouragement to families in our community. It’s personal for us too.