When a person first hears that they have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, they may be unsure of just what that means. But, when they hear that the disease is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, it becomes more familiar. ALS is a disease that damages nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain, which affects the patient’s ability to move. The disease is progressive, so it gets worse as time goes on. ALS usually strikes when a person is 40 to 70 years old. Around 30,000 people in the United States currently have the disease.
If someone you love has recently been diagnosed with ALS, you might have questions about the disease. And, while knowing the origins of the disease’s nickname might not be at the top of the list, Lou Gehrig’s story is inspirational and may give you hope.
Who Was Lou Gehrig?
Before his diagnosis, Lou Gehrig was famous for being a baseball player for the New York Yankees. New York City was his home town, having been born there in 1903. He was a fighter from the beginning—the only one of his mother’s four children to survive.
Baseball wasn’t Gehrig’s first sport. He went to college on a football scholarship, but began playing professional baseball during the summers under an assumed name. This eventually got him banned from college sports. Lucky for him, he was scouted and signed on with the Yankees in 1923.
During his baseball career, Gehrig earned the nickname the “Iron Horse” because of his incredible strength and endurance. He frequently broke bones in his hands and suffered from back spasms, but they never stopped him from playing.
Gehrig’s stats are impressive, and he set records along the way. But, in 1938 his legendary strength began to fail, and he batted below .300 for the first time in over a decade. His friends began to notice a change in the way he moved. Eventually, Gehrig decided to take himself out of the game, ending his incredible 2,130 consecutive games played streak. Doctors diagnosed him with ALS. When honored by the world of baseball, Gehrig gave his famous speech in which he called himself “the luckiest man in the world.”
Even after his diagnosis, Gehrig went on to work in his community. Gehrig was asked by the mayor to join the Parole Board where he could help youth. Though he signed on, his disease made him unable to complete his 10-year term. Today, he’s remembered not just as a baseball player, but also as a strong, compassionate man with a positive attitude.
Why is Gehrig’s Story Important?
Gehrig’s story is important because it shows that even after someone has been diagnosed with ALS, they can still make meaningful contributions and live full lives. One way to help them do that is by hiring an elderly care provider. An elderly care provider can assist a person with ALS to move around safely while they still can. Once they are confined to a wheelchair, an elderly care provider can help with transfers to and from the chair. Elderly care providers can also assist with other aspects of personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. With the help of an elderly care provider, an ALS patient can continue to enjoy time with their friends and family.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Elderly Care Services in Rockville Center NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales.
1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002.
In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies.
Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.
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