Jerry’s Current Status and Outlook

Press Release for Prize4Life, December 31, 2007. 

The purpose of this note was to explain how ALS affects a person, especially to people who are not familiar with ALS.  It was written by Jerry:

Eighteen months ago, I was the volunteer Chairperson of the Fitness Committee at our local YMCA, where I routinely worked out with free weights, used the cardio equipment, and swam 4-5 days a week.  My professional career encompassed the work as a motivational speaker, human resource consultant, educator, and personal coach.   I volunteered my service on the boards of many non-profit organizations.   My hobbies included hiking, boating, scuba diving, and attending live cultural events. 


Today, as a result of having contracted ALS, “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” I am confined to a wheel chair.   I have lost the use of speech, as well as the use of my left hand, and due to swallowing difficulties, I can only eat pureed foods and liquids.  I have lost 30% of my body’s weight since April.  I can no longer shower, dry, or dress myself.  I cannot turn over in bed unassisted.  Needless to say, my quality of life has been greatly affected.   What is very frustrating to me is that there is no treatment or cure for this devastating disease 65 years after the death of Lou Gehrig, and the general population is still ignorant about this horrible and incurable disease.  I am very grateful for the love and support of family and friends as I travel this difficult journey.