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Als Advocacy Request


ZenArcher

Question

Go to http://capwiz.com/alsa/home/

Under Find Your Officials enter your zip code and click Go

Ensure Federal is selected and click your Representative.

Click the link next to E-mail

In the subject enter H.R. 5454

If it asks for an Issue Area select Veterans affairs

In the Editable Text paste the following:

Independence Day, a day to spend with family and friends barbequing, playing games, watching fireworks and parades and celebrating our Declaration of Independence. It is a celebration of patriotism and a time to remember those that have given the highest sacrifice in defense of that independence.

Unfortunately there were 10 less family and friends to celebrate with this past July 4th. Their lives were taken from them by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Even more unfortunate is the fact that there were 10 others that were more than likely too devastated to celebrate due to their recent diagnosis. Everyday 10 people lose their fight with ALS and everyday 10 more unfortunate souls step into the ring to take their place. Studies have shown that veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS regardless of where or when they served. This means that while we were celebrating somewhere between 2 and 5 individuals who volunteered to put their lives on the line to give us that right passed away. At the same time their replacements were told they had 2 to 5 years to live. Of the over 2000 veterans who were enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ALS Registry in the last 4 years less than 900 are alive today.

ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. In ALS, both the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons degenerate or die, ceasing to send messages to muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, waste away, and twitch. Eventually the ability of the brain to start and control voluntary movement is lost. Individuals with ALS lose their strength and the ability to move their arms, legs, and body. When muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail, individuals lose the ability to breathe without ventilatory support. The disease does not affect a person's ability to see, smell, taste, hear, or recognize touch, and it does not usually impair a person's thinking or other cognitive abilities. However, several recent studies suggest that a small percentage of patients may experience problems with memory or decision-making, and there is growing evidence that some may even develop a form of dementia.

Sadly although multiple studies have linked military service as well as many of the things our veterans are exposed to on a daily basis to ALS the VA will not service connect the majority of those diagnosed. While fighting for their lives from a disease which science has linked to military service they must also fight for benefits they earned and were promised. H.R. 5454 will help those veterans with ALS by granting them presumptive service connection. Please help our veterans who are suffering from this horrible disease by cosponsoring H.R. 5454. Thank you for your time and support.

Complete the rest of the form with your information and click Send Message. If you have time please post here that you've sent the message and to whom.

A list of current cosponsors can be seen at http://capwiz.com/legion/issues/bills/?bil...mp;cs_state=ALL

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Although I personally don't know of any service members with ALS, my mother passed away last summer from it so I do understand the plight of people living with ALS. I served in Desert Storm and OIF and I know there are a lot of weird things going on out there with ailments/diseases. I'm from Virginia and wrote the Pres, Sen John Warner, Sen Webb, and Rep Wittman.

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I'm sorry that you have personal experience with this disease but thank you for your help. Before I was diagnosed I didn't know of anyone with ALS. I went to Advocacy Days in DC in May and of the almost 900 people with ALS (PALS) there almost a quarter of them were veterans.

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