Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

(ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease)

Thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that swept our nation in 2014, more people than ever before know about ALS. MDA is grateful to everyone who participated in this challenge and took the first step to support the fight against this horrible disease.

But we can’t stop there. Uniting through action is what will accelerate progress to defeat ALS.

Patty Blake is one of the 35,000 people fighting ALS. She’s a wife, a mom of two daughters and someone who believes that families affected by ALS have hope because of organizations like MDA and support from people like you who want to take action .

“But ALS doesn’t stop there. The muscles used for swallowing are also affected. Meals become rather tricky as you try to avoid choking. Not everyone with ALS chooses to have a feeding tube surgically inserted into their belly, but I have. … The muscles you use to speak are also going. People can’t understand you and you must repeat things. Then one day, speech becomes impossible. Without functional limbs, even writing is out … But ALS isn’t finished yet. Take a deep breath. Now exhale. You just used some muscles. ALS takes those too … Now consider the wider shadow a diagnosis of ALS casts: Spouses, children, parents, siblings, friends and more. ALS takes a heavy emotional toll on a family.”

Patty and many other men and women living with ALS want this horrible disease to stop taking away the everyday abilities and lives of so many people we love – our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, neighbors, coworkers, friends.

That’s where you come in.

YOU have the power to help MDA fund doctors and scientists who are researching what causes ALS and find effective treatments and cures.

YOU can help us support more families living with ALS through specialized clinics, support groups, education and equipment.

And most of all, YOU can create hope and progress in the fight to defeat ALS.

Here’s how you can take action against ALS TODAY:

Learn more:


ALS (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a disease of the parts of the nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. Nerve cells that control muscle cells are gradually lost, causing the muscles to become weak and eventually nonfunctional. Walking, talking, eating, hugging and even breathing become nearly impossible, although the mind stays sharp. Most people with ALS live 3 to 5 years after diagnosis.

A diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) does not mean an end to your hopes and dreams. Changes, challenges and adaptations lay ahead, but also opportunity, fulfillment, joy and hope for a future free of this devastating disease.

Make MDA your go-to ALS resource. Learn about the search for treatments and therapies through MDA/ALS Newsmagazine Online. Find support groups and online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter; a personal support network through the care coordination tool myMuscleTeam; and connections to community and educational resources.

As you learn more about ALS, always remember that you’re not alone. MDA is here for you and your family, standing ready to provide help and hope. There is a place for you in the MDA ALS community.