Advocate editorial board opinion: Powerful stories help to find cure for ALS

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 29, 2010 at 5:29 a.m.

The stories among families dealing with amyotrophic lateral scierosis, or ALS, are testament to what humanity and life is all about. Victims and their loved ones find unbelievable strength to deal with the disease, as well as deep love and care for one another. But it is the extreme degree of hope that drives them forward and defines them as human beings.

The Advocate has sought permission and gained it from families dealing with ALS to tell their remarkable and courageous stories. Be sure to watch for a special web presentation and read this latest segment Thursday in the Advocate's ongoing series about ALS. We thank Advocate former intern Drew Stewart, who began the film documentary project, "The Breadth of Hope," more than a year ago. The documentary is the first of its kind for the newspaper.

We thank Craig Fox, Carolyn Shimek and Bill Hassel for sharing their daily challenges and their unwavering hope for a breakthrough for the disease, which at this time has no cure.

The debut of the film documentary will be 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts. There, you will meet Fox, Shimek and Hassel who will reveal in the documentary how they've found the true meaning of life by living in the face of death.

The disease, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. Usually, symptoms of the disease arise after the age of 50, and victims experience a loss of muscle strength and coordination, and these symptoms gradually become worse over time and fatal.

Join us for this story of bravery and courage. You will find inspiration through this presentation, and you will find hope for an ALS cure.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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