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Letters to the editor November 12
Nov 12, 2009 | 1880 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Veterans prone to ALS

Veterans Day is an often over-looked holiday on the U.S. calendar. However, it’s a day to take pause and remember those individuals who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms.

What your readers may not know is that veterans are approximately twice as likely to die from Lou Gehrig’s Disease (also know as ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) as the general public.

The good news is that the Veterans Association is doing something about it.

I am an Air Force veteran. Five years ago, I was diagnosed with ALS. The cost and burden of ALS is extensive so my wife and I turned to the ALS Association for help. Through the Western Pennsylvannia Chapter, we were connected with the V.A. The V.A. is providing significant benefits to our heroes who are fighting for their lives against ALS — a disease for which there is no effective treatment or cure.

ALS is fatal in just two to five years following diagnosis. Thanks to the V.A., my family and the families of other veterans have access to disability compensation, health care and other vital benefits. Thanks to these critical benefits, we are no longer struggling to make ends meet.

This Veterans Day let’s make sure all veterans living with ALS know about these benefits and urge our elected officials to provide the research and funding necessary to learn why our veterans are dying from ALS, and to discover a treatment that can save their lives.

Ron Shumaker
Meyersdale

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