Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Pride of the Yankees

Artist: 

Bill was a retired high school teacher and author of two plays and a children’s novel. This artwork was inspired by Bill’s interest in baseball and his admiration of Lou Gehrig, who retired from baseball in 1939 after receiving a diagnosis of ALS.  Bill painted this work by holding the paintbrush in his mouth.  He donated two other paintings to the Art Collection.

Peace in the Willows

Susan worked 25 years as an X-ray technician.  She began painting after receiving the diagnosis of ALS.  Susan also collected postcards from countries around the world.

Orphan

Artist: 

Tom retired from teaching at a community college in 2000 and was looking forward to playing and performing music.  Months later he received a diagnosis of ALS and as lost his mobility, beginning with his feet and moving upward, he began making adaptations every step of the way.  Now a quadriplegic, Tom blinks his eyes to communicate and draw on a computer. “Orphan” is a drawing of a child with AIDS from southern Uganda.

Old Barn

Artist: 

Dan worked for Ford Motor Company for many years.  After receiving a diagnosis of ALS at age 30, he left work and began helping others.  He campaigned for barrier-free buildings, advocated for those with disabilities and became an artist.  Dan created paintings by balancing a paintbrush between his teeth to transform blank canvases into works of art that vary from landscapes to portraits.  In 1993 he received the Michigan State MDA Personal Achievement Award.

My Dad and I

Artist: 

Dottie began creating artwork in junior high school, particularly painting people with the hope of becoming a dress designer.  She later designed and sewed many of her daughter’s clothes, including her wedding dress.  Other hobbies she enjoyed were crocheting, beading and tole painting.  With her arm strength weakening after a diagnosis of ALS in 1998, Dottie searched for another way to continue creating art and found a computer paint program.  This artwork took more than 72 hours to complete.

Mountain View

Artist: 

David received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and taught junior high school art for 13 years.  Prior to his retirement he designed layouts for landscape projects.  David hasn’t painted for several years, but after receiving the diagnosis of ALS, he resumed painting his favorite subjects, landscapes.

Lone Tree

Artist: 

Tom began painting in 1995.  He held the paintbrush in his mouth to create his works, which captured his love of mountain pastures, valleys and lakes.

Lean on Me When You're Not Strong

Artist: 

Lois studied at the Cleveland Art Institute, Ohio Wesleyan University and the Chicago Theological Seminary.  She was a professional artist for 40 years and participated in numerous shows in and around Chicago.  Lois owned the Siol Art Gallery in Flossmoor.

Leaf Collage

Artist: 

Vickie was an equestrian who loved the outdoors.  This leaf collage was donated in her memory to the MDA Art Collection by MDA Clinic Director, Archer D. Huott.

Its Not Like Before

Gay received a B.S. degree from Utah State University and an M.A. in Art Education from Brigham Young University.  She worked in the film industry for 12 years as an artist and set decorator.  This artwork was created when Gay’s neck muscles began to weaken.  The bent neck expresses what was happening to her body.

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