ALS Awareness Month


Ashley Zhao and Melody Lui

Lou Gehrig was first baseman for the New York Yankees from the 1920s to the 1930s, and had grown to become one of America’s most beloved baseball players. Unfortunately, Gehrig retired in 1939 after he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease where the muscles are impaired due to the weakening of nerve cells. ALS generally affects people over the age of 40, even including those with excellent health during the prime years of their lifetime. As a patient’s voluntary muscle movement gets damaged, they face a high possibility of becoming completely paralyzed in the later stages of this condition. ALS is also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, as his case brought both national and international attention to the ailment at that time. 

During the summer of 2014, a challenge arose across several social media platforms where influencers have a bucket of icy water poured on top of their heads in order to raise awareness for ALS. The challenge eventually grew so popular that even A-list celebrities like Chris Pratt and Oprah began to partake in this challenge as a way to donate to the cause. As a result of everyone’s efforts, the ALS Association received $115 million to put towards research funds for a cure to ALS in addition to more effective treatment for ALS patients. As of May 2020, there is no cure for ALS; however, many patients can receive medication and therapy in order to subdue weakened nerve cells.

Although there isn’t any permanent cure, there are other ways you can help during the month for raising ALS awareness—May! There are several organizations, such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the ALS Association, who host seminars and other activities throughout the U.S. to raise awareness about ALS. Furthermore, most of these organizations are open to donations to fund research for treatment and a possible cure. Other ways you can get involved include advocating to help change laws or policies that affect people who live with ALS as well as their families. Raising public awareness by sharing stories about people with this condition on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook is another great way to help the fight against ALS! If you’re looking to get involved this month, make sure to stay connected with any news and updates concerning ALS so you can be up to date on any upcoming events. Despite the fact that we all are apart at the moment, we can still come together to not only honor those lost to ALS, but also aid those still suffering from this devastating disease.

Picture Courtesy of ALSADOTORG.COM