The month of June is ALS Month. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Lou Gehrig brought ALS into the spotlight when he was diagnosed on June 19, 1939; his 36th birthday. He had been steadily weakening throughout the spring training session, and voluntarily took himself off the lineup before the Detroit Tigers game on May 2nd, after playing 2,130 consecutive games. Despite his nickname of “The Iron Horse” and statistics hitting 493 home runs and had 1,995 runs batted in (RBI) in his 17 year career – he died two years after his diagnosis from ALS.
Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research, Steven Hawking is another individual surviving with ALS, diagnosed at the age of 21, 53 years ago. At that time he was given the standard life expectancy of 2 years. Since then he has advanced theories, written and co-athored both technical and fiction books, and been featured in several movies.
ALS Canada is marking the month of June with 30 ALS stories. Day 6, is Eddy Lefrançois. In a tribute, he dedicated his video and day to the memory of Brian Parsons who had passed the day before in Ottawa. Brian had successfully lobbied to have the compassionate care benefit increased for family members who leave work to care for a terminally-ill loved one.
Eddy challenges people to “Live with no regrets, Live as if tomorrow will not come for you. But live respectful.”. He says “It’s ALS Awareness Month. You’ve got 30 Days. Take a video, post your story, or spread the word. Do it for someone with ALS, someone you love, someone you lost or do it for you.” He hasn’t let ALS slow him down — much. With help from friends and an eye to safety, he has accomplished many adventures, and continues to tick things off of his ‘bucket list’.
Team “Let’s roll out ALS” joined the Sault Ste. Marie Walk for ALS held this past weekend. Over $21,800 was raised, and Eddy’s Team raised more than $10,000. Mike Mantha (MP Algoma-Manitoulin) joined the team which had members from Dubreuilville, Wawa, Chapleau, Elliot Lake, Sudbury and the Soo.
“Thanks to my team Let’s Roll Out ALS, and thank you all that have donated and supported my battle with the Let’s Roll. I’m proud to say that we raised $10,000+ — 60% of the $10,000 we raised will go to others fighting ALS, to purchase medical equipment, wheelchairs and other supplies needed. The remaining 40% will go to ALS research, to make ALS treatable, not terminal. Together we will succeed. Thank you to all Sault Ste. Marie “WALK for ALS” participants!”
“Merci à mon équipe Let’s Roll Out ALS. Aussi, merci à tous ceux et celles qui ont fait don et soutenu ma bataille avec le Let’ Roll. Je suis fier de dire que nous avons amassé 10 000 $ + — 60% de ce 10 000 $ ira à aider d’autres personnes atteintes de la SLA pour acheter du matériel médical, des fauteuils roulants et d’autres fournitures nécessaires. Les 40% restants iront à la recherche de la SLA, pour faire que la SLA soit une maladie guérissable et non mortelle. Ensemble nous allons réussir. Merci à ceux et celles qui ont participé à la “MARCHE pour la SLA” du Sault.”