I recently finished watching ‘You’re Not You’ with Hilary Swank. It is about a woman who gets ALS and her caretaker. Watching her slowly lose her ability to move may leave you feeling stunned.
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. You probably have heard of it before. You also may know of it from the ice bucket challenge that went viral last summer. However, do you really comprehend what it is? I didn’t until I saw this movie.
To watch someone slowly lose all the abilities most of us take for granted every day is unimaginable. How quickly your whole life can change. In a blink of an eye your whole world can be turned upside down.
Then I watched ‘The Theory of Everything’ which is about Stephen Hawking’s life story. This is another amazing movie about ALS that may leave you admiring not only Stephen Hawking but also his wife Jane. She stood by his side through it all until he left her. She shows what it truly means to be in a committed marriage. They worked through all the obstacles that came their way.
ALS is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. The neurons deteriorate and die which stops sending messages to the muscles. The muscles then weaken and deteriorate. Those with ALS lose the ability to move, eat, speak and eventually breathe. Many people with ALS die from respiratory failure. The average life span from the onset of symptoms is 3 to 5 years but some live much longer.
ALS has gotten more attention in recent years but there is still a long way to go with research. For more information please visit;
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