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ALS Association opens in Modesto
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The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association has opened a Modesto office to serve the 209 region.
Some 5,600 people are diagnosed each year in the United States with ALS — better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
The debilitating motor neuron illness has seen a spike in agricultural areas.
The ALS Association provides constant support of the victims of the terminal disease.
Family members devote their time to loved ones around the clock, like Shaun Ferraro of Manteca who is caring for her husband Don who was diagnosed last year.  
ALS robs its victims of their voices and stability in walking.  Some lose their use of arms and legs and become completely dependent on their care givers who often miss meals and sleep in support of their loved ones’ health and safety. Their minds remain sharp and unaffected by the disease in what has been described as a slow death accompanied by a head droop while creating a terrible weakness.
Although the value of stem cell research has drawn criticism as being mostly smoke and mirrors, the ALS Association has recently put out a piece saying it shares a sense of urgency to develop effective treatments for ALS patients and is encouraged by what is being learned from stem cell research. There have been charlatans in Mexico taking advantage of troubled family members in the U.S. frantic to find a cure no matter what the cost.
In addition,  excitement about the potential stem cell replacement in ALS was heightened in a recent report about an ALS treatment for patients in China.  The ALS Association has recently funded two new studies in stem cell research and continues to fund leading investigators in different areas of stem cell biology including cells harvested from a person’s own body.
Care givers find their days starting early and ending when their loved one goes to bed, hoping they will sleep the night through.  It’s a horrible journey for most who find a choking phlegm keeps them from sleeping peacefully at night.  The side effect of an anti-depressant is one of the few approaches that can greatly lessen the flow.  A suction machine is often used throughout the day to eliminate the buildup of the phlegm in ALS patients’ throats.
When the inability to swallow overtakes its victims, a G-tube is often inserted into their stomachs. They are fed a liquid formula three to four times a day — keeping them from losing more weight and starving.  Some lose as much as 70 pounds before the tube is decided as a solution.
The ALS Association puts out a monthly schedule of speakers on the disease throughout the valley and Bay Area communities that can picked up at the new Modesto office. .
To contact Glenn Kahl, email