Support ALS research

This morning I took a Spinning class for two reasons - to workout my body and to help fund amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease) research. I am particularly motivated to support this annual fundraiser at my gym (Spectrum Club in El Segundo CA) because two people in my life were diagnosed with and later died of ALS. Our event, Getting' Down with Toni Brown, supports Augie's quest, a fundraiser focused on finding treatments and cures by the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the world's largest drug development program devoted entirely to ALS. Toni Brown was a Spinning instructor and then diagnosed with ALS in 2011. Please watch this video to see how Toni is doing now. Participation in the group fitness sessions today - classes include Spinning, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and others - cost a minimum donation of $25. I counted about thirty people in my class - the first class of the day - this morning. So we raised at least $750.00. A great start in meeting our  … [Read more...]

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – a ruthless and certain killer

Whenever anyone in my synagogue community dies I get an email from the rabbi. I read today’s email at about five in the morning that Jill Cherneff Laverty died – probably yesterday. I had heard last week that it wouldn’t be long, but even so I definitely wasn’t ready for the news. Jill had ALS and she lived over six years with it, much longer than most ALS victims, but still, it’s hard to take. Persons with ALS have a loss of muscle strength and coordination that eventually gets worse and makes it impossible to do routine tasks such as going up steps, getting out of a chair, swallowing and then, finally, breathing. ALS does not affect the senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch), and only rarely affects bladder or bowel function, or a person's ability to think or reason. That’s why I've heard that it must be like being in prison or a coffin. There is no known cure for it. It is a ruthless and certain killer. I understand that Jill’s first symptom was difficulty i … [Read more...]