We are honored to donate to the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association this month, a cause near and dear to our hearts. We share this personal story with our readers to raise awareness of ALS. We also like our clients and patients to know that a large portion of our own retail sales process goes to charity.
Sara Buttner’s Story (Albemarle Dermatology Associates):
The ALS Association is an organization that is incredibly important to myself and my family. I lost my grandmother to ALS when I was about ten years old...she was fifty eight. I watched my grandmother go from a fully functioning vivacious woman to merely a soul trapped inside a body. She lost her ability to walk, talk, eat and be self-sufficient. ALS terrifies me and the fact that there isn't much known about the disease terrifies me even more. Since my grandmothers passing, I've felt like I've constantly been "on the run" from this terrible disease, and unfortunately we met again several years ago, when Ray's Godfather was diagnosed. Yet again, a completely healthy, active person becoming lifeless and trapped inside a body that is of no use. Like my grandmother, he passed away only two years after being diagnosed.
What we do know about ALS is that it affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which leaves diagnosed patients unable to use their body but with a completely functioning brain. I think the best example of what ALS patients battle with, is the movie called "The Theory of Everything". This movie portrays the life of Physicist Stephan Hawkening and his battle with the disease. It really hit close to home but really helped portray how these patients must feel. Can you imagine a completely functioning brain with no ability to talk or use your body? If that's not terrifying I don't know what is.
There isn't much known about ALS and the research and awareness is a continuing battle. My family attends the ALS walk in Richmond each year and we try our hardest to raise as much money as we can for the cause. We were ecstatic when the social media took off with the "Ice Bucket Challenge" in 2014 which raised more awareness and money than the ALS Association has ever seen. The ALS Association has also had recent groundbreaking news with a gene abnormality found in ALS patients that wouldn't have been possible without the funding. That's why I feel this charity is so important. Money and awareness by no means will bring my grandmother back, but if it can help future diagnosed patients and their families then it's worth it.