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

p> "If Americans need heroes they need not look any further than the caregivers in their own families," Matland said. "These are among the most courageous people you will ever meet. They continually give of themselves to provide whatever is needed."

Caregivers also increasingly include the husbands, wives and, in some cases, the children of military veterans with ALS. That is because military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as the general public.

"It is cruelly ironic that these caregivers, who shouldered a tremendous family burden while their loved ones served in the military, now find that burden has increased. They are now on the front lines in the war against ALS; however, they are not alone," said Steve Gibson, vice president of government relations and public affairs for The Association.

The Association is the leading voice for veterans and their caregivers, having successfully advocated for new regulations at the Department of Veterans Affairs that make ALS a service connected disease. These historic regulations, which were implemented in 2008, provide caregivers with the resources they need to fight back against ALS, including monthly disability compensation, health benefits and assistance to help pay for home health care services that are so vital to veterans with ALS and their caregivers.

As Veterans Day approaches on November 11, all Americans are urged to join The Association in showing their support for the nation's veterans and their caregivers by sending a letter-to-the-editor of their local newspaper using The Association's Web site at www.alsa.org/policy/veterans.cfm.

The Association's national network of chapters also is committed to giving caregivers back as much of their lives before ALS as possible including having more time to take care of
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