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The ALS Association Cares for Those Who Care the Most in New Campaign
Date:10/26/2009


"My biggest challenge is dealing with all the changes that my spouse is going through and how these changes affect the both of us," said Peggy Rode, an avid gardener who considers her yard to be her "little oasis." "We are dealing with new challenges everyday."

Phil Thomas, a do-it-yourselfer, made extensive modifications to his home to make life easier for his wife Kay Thomas, who has ALS. They receive help from The Association's Greater Bay Area Chapter in San Francisco, Calif. The Thomases, both retired military veterans, are trying to enjoy life the best they can.

"Just because your loved one has ALS, do not fall victim to it," said Phil Thomas, who served in the medical corps in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. "Don't dwell on what you can't change or the inevitable. Each day is a gift, a chance to be together, to share with friends and family."

The public also can make a "Show You Care" donation to support The Association and the fight against ALS by clicking here.

"One of the most important attributes of being an advocate for your loved one is the willingness and the ability do speak up and keep your eye on the ultimate goal, protecting not only the health and safety of your loved ones but for yourself as well," states the Web site for the National Family Caregivers Association, which organizes National Family Caregivers Month each year.

Providing constant care takes its emotional and physical toll on caregivers. Signs of burnout include anger, anxiety, depression, feeling overwhelmed and guilty, sleeplessness, premature aging and other symptoms. Studies show that 75 percent of all caregivers are going it alone without help from family and friends.

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