As a widow of a man who died at age 58 of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, I saw the actual suffering he went through, which in turn made me very aware of how this disease affects people. I also him though this unbearable lifestyle.

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to a column title "Buckets of misplaced charity, served ice-cold," which appeared in the Aug. 24 edition of the Herald Democrat on page A5. It can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1mBleCP.


As a widow of a man who died at age 58 of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, I saw the actual suffering he went through, which in turn made me very aware of how this disease affects people. I also him though this unbearable lifestyle.


It has not been long, considering the history of the disease, when cancer patients could not even mention the C-word. General knowledge of cancer, as with ALS, was limited in the general population. It has only been in recent years that fundraising has become a valuable resource, but only because of the awareness it created. Perhaps this Ice Bucket Challenge, which the column calls misplaced, will help raise awareness to stimulate funds for ALS.


There is no specific testing so the multitude of tests my husband took eliminated all other diseases. Prior to all the testing, his neurologist had stated that ALS was his first suspicion. Testing proved it. ALS started in my husband’s throat, which affected his eating and swallowing. After diagnoses, he retired from his job. During the remaining six months, we were able to grieve together and put our affairs in order.


What difference does it make as to what type of fundraiser it is as long as it creates awareness and raises funds for research, testing and, hopefully, a cure for this terrible disease? It is long overdue.


Judy Clark


Sherman