ALS was discovered in 1869 by a French neurologist named Jean-Martin Charcot. However, it
wasn’t until 1939 that New York Yankee’s baseball player Lou Gehrig brought national and
international attention to the disease. Even today, the disease continues to be most closely
associated with Lou Gehrig’s name. ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is a
progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The
focus of my platform is to increase awareness of ALS and encourage involvement in the ALS
Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS.
ALS touched my life when my grandfather was diagnosed with the disease. ALS is a life
changing disease for the person diagnosed as well as the entire family. ALS affects speech,
movement, memory, walking, swallowing, and breathing. A little over 6,000 people in the
United States are diagnosed with ALS each year. It is estimated that as many as 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.
As of now, there is no cure for ALS. There are only two FDA-approved drugs (Rilutek and Radicava) for the treatment of ALS. These drugs were FDA-approved 22 years apart and slow the progression of ALS in some patients. My goal is to increase awareness of the urgent need to develop new treatments for ALS.
We can help researchers develop additional treatments and to possibly find a cure. By donating, participating in social media challenges, and participating in
the Walk to Defeat ALS, we can get one step closer to a cure and “Stomping
I work to bring awareness to ALS and
raise funds to support ALS research. I encourage people to take small steps to defeat ALS by donating to my ALS Association Community of Hope Fund web page, which honors of my
grandfather who fights ALS every single day. I participate in social media campaigns like the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to increase awareness of
ALS and to raise funds to fight ALS. I am a Team Leader for the ALS Association Walk to Defeat ALS in Birmingham each year. My team’s name is “Steps for Stewart: Stomping Out ALS One Step at a Time”. My team honors my grandfather and his battle against
I make a difference with my ALS Community of Hope Fund. Join me by clicking my link: Steps for Stewart Stomping Out ALS