No Veteran With Lou Gehrig's Disease Will Be Left Behind

Armen Hareyan's picture

A newly published regulation covers Lou Gehrig's Disease treatment for all US veterans. The approved bill is the result of hard work of the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and veterans themselves.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease occurring in spinal cord and brain and damages motor cells. Disease sufferers lose their ability to control muscles properly. The disease develops very quickly once a patient is diagnosed and there no time left to make treatment decisions - the treatment should start immediately.


ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, because a famous American baseball player Lou Gehrig, who was diagnosed with the disease and stopped playing 1939.

In 2001 VA decided to provide veterans with access to Lou Gehrig's Disease treatment. This was covering veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. This was a major step forward for veterans, but, the ASL Association insisted that not only the mentioned group of veterans should be provided with such benefit.

There has been numerous studies examining ASL situation for the past century. These researches clearly showed that military veterans are two times more likely to develop the disease than their peers with no military background. Thanks to these researches and joint efforts of VA, veterans, and ALS Association all veterans now have access to Lou Gehrig's Disease treatment.

"Veterans living with Lou Gehrig's Disease now have one less hurdle to face on an already difficult road," said Steve Gibson, The Association's vice president of government relations and public affairs. "Our heroes who have served in the military and those serving today can now be reassured that our government will fight for them just as they fought for us."



It is curious to me that the ALS Association receives acclaim for all ALS legislation that passes whether or not they actually have directly helped with that legislation. Please look closely as to who supported this legislation, and you will see ALS TDI (research foundation in Massachusetts area) and the MDA supported this much more so than the ALS Association.