Trainer at gym has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2012 1:06 AM GMT
    In most cases there is no known risk factor and no known cure. Can strike anyone. She was diagnosed 2 years ago and continued to work at the gym for a time. She went from the picture of health to now being confined to a wheel chair and needing a care giver.
    In ALS, nerve cells (neurons) waste away or die, and can no longer send messages to muscles. This eventually leads to muscle weakening, twitching, and an inability to move the arms, legs, and body. The condition slowly gets worse. When the muscles in the chest area stop working, it becomes hard or impossible to breathe on one's own.

    ALS affects approximately 5 out of every 100,000 people worldwide.
    There are no known risk factors, except for having a family member who has a hereditary form of the disease.

    In addition to mentioning the disease, the other reason for this message is to describe the response to an event to raise money for her from the club, several fitness equipment manufacturers, and sports professionals, mostly in the area (LA) but also other places including NY. She is 2 years into a period with average life expectancy 2.8 years after diagnosis. There is a chance to get her into one of two trials that have the potential to delay the progression, but there is no known cure.

    She had been an employee of the club, actually a chain of clubs in the west for close to 20 years. Today there was an event for her to collect donations and show the items that are in the auctions. The club manager and staff contacted many organizations and people to get donations. I couldn't believe the generosity of the equipment manufacturers. The equipment was all latest models, top of the line commercial equipment. One piece of equipment sells for over $8,000. Professional athletes donated signed autographs, footballs, season tickets, etc. I am interested in one item, but had considered seeing if I could exchange it for a different model and pay the difference, assuming I had the winning bid. The club manager contacted the rep from the equipment manufacturer. He said they would do anything to facilitate bidding on the item because they wanted the money to go to her.

    The outpouring of generosity is amazing.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    May 13, 2012 3:39 AM GMT
    I'm sorry to hear that. For the past two years, I have participated in charity walks for ALS to raise money for research and hopefully, a cure.

    "Tuesdays With Morrie" did it for me. I needed to get involved.

    All my best to your trainer friend. She'll be in my thoughts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2012 3:43 AM GMT
    This makes me really sad. I lost a colleague to ALS a few years back. A wonderful young woman who left a husband and newborn behind.

    What a terrible disease. Your friend is blessed to have such great support.
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    May 13, 2012 3:50 AM GMT
    That is awful, but heartwarming that so many people are supporting her. A close friend of my mom's died of ALS in the 1970's. She had come out as a lesbian late in life after divorcing her husband. Not soon after, she was diagnosed with ALS.
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    May 13, 2012 5:06 AM GMT
    When you see all the negativity today, this was a very special event. The other club employees were hugging her and having photos taken. Everyone donating, especially the expensive equipment, does not get public recognition. It's giving for all the right reasons. Behind all the smiles and laughter is the haunting feeling that baring some miracle, her time is short.
  • araphael

    Posts: 1148

    May 13, 2012 5:29 AM GMT
    Love is love, but that view is based on my cultural upbringing, your's may be different and that's respected. True love is usually not easy, but it often costs, much, as a general rule. But I could be wrong.