Lou Gehrig’s Disease stalks military veterans

May 21, 2013

Many U.S. military veterans like retired Air Force Technical Sergeant David Masters of Omaha, Neb. have bravely fought for their country only to return home to wage another battle against Lou Gehrig’s Disease. No one knows why, but veterans are twice as likely to develop this fatal disease clinically known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Lou Gehrig’s Disease cut Masters’ military career short when he was just 32 years old. Following a deployment in Saudi Arabia, Masters first began experiencing unusual muscle weakness in his right arm during a deployment in Kuwait.
“This was devastating for someone who was an amateur body builder, handpicked physical training leader, and overall health and fitness enthusiast,” recalls Masters.
There is no known cure and just one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that only modestly extends survival.
“ALS is a frightening and fatal disease that slowly paralyzes the body, robbing it of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe while the mind remains sharp and alert,” says Jane H. Gilbert, president and CEO of The ALS Association - the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease on every front.
“Above all, veterans need to know that they do not have to battle ALS alone,” says Gilbert. “While we are working tirelessly to find a cure and answers for our men and women in uniform, the fact remains that veterans and their families too often are not aware of the abundance of aid and support that is available to them.”

Read the whole story at ALS Association