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Military Veterans Struck Down by Lou Gehrig's Disease Honored on Mother's Day by The ALS Association with Wreath Laying Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery
Date:5/11/2009

Three military veterans with ALS and the widow of a military veteran who passed away from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) have placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns during a ceremony sponsored by The ALS Association.

Calabasas Hills, CA (Vocus) May 11, 2009 -- Three military veterans with ALS and the widow of a military veteran who passed away from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) have placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns during a ceremony sponsored by The ALS Association. (see photo right and photo caption below)

Jeff Faull, Ken Patterson, Jim Thew and Sharon Harrison were joined by people with ALS, families and caregivers of people fighting the disease, including mothers and fathers and military veterans from across the country.

Studies, including those conducted by the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and Harvard University, continue to demonstrate that military veterans are approximately twice as likely as the general population to develop ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

The ceremony was part of The Association's 2009 National ALS Advocacy and Public Policy Conference, which took place May 10-12 in Washington, D.C.

In September 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published groundbreaking new regulations that establish a presumption of service connection for ALS regardless of where or when veterans served in the military or when they were diagnosed with the disease following discharge. As a result, veterans with ALS have full access to VA disability and health benefits.

Moreover, survivors of veterans lost to ALS also are eligible for compensation, regardless of when the veteran lost his or her fight against ALS. The Association was the leading organization advocating for this policy change.

ALS causes the progressive death of the motor nerve cells that operate muscles, robbing the brain of its ability to initiate and control movement. Approximately 30,000 Americans have the disease, for which there is no effective treatment or cure, and can expect to survive on average two to five years from the time of diagnosis. While the disease strikes people regardless of their age, race or gender, military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as those with no history of military service.

The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/05/prweb2408984.htm.


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