MDA Helping to Raise Public Awareness of ALS During May

by ALSN Staff on Mon, 2012-04-09 09:43

Profiles of people with ALS, interactive online features and local events across the country are part of MDA’s ALS Awareness Month activities

MDA ALS Division Co-Chairs Augie and Lynne Nieto
Article Highlights:
  • MDA will commemorate May as National ALS Awareness Month by sponsoring various local events in communities nationwide, as well as through two popular online series, ALS: Anyone's Life Story and ALS: It's My Story, Too.
  • MDA ALS Division Co-Chair Augie Nieto encourages people to spread the word about ALS and raise awareness through social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

National ALS Awareness Month in May is a time when MDA seeks to increase the American public's knowledge about ALS and heighten awareness of the urgent need for treatments. This is accomplished through a mix of local and national efforts designed to educate and "put a face" on ALS.

Local events

Local MDA offices around the country will recognize ALS Awareness Month through such events as:

  • educational seminars;
  • open houses;
  • special ALS support groups;
  • awareness events at baseball games (in honor of Yankees' great Lou Gehrig, who gave his name to the disease in the U.S.); and
  • ALS Awareness Month proclamation signing events.

Contact your local office (800-572-1717) to learn about awareness events in your area.

Anyone’s Life Story

Once again, MDA will feature its powerful online campaign "ALS: Anyone's Life Story," in which a different individual with ALS is featured on MDA’s website each day during May.

The series is designed to put a face on this little-known disease, inspire others in the ALS community, and help all those affected by ALS know that they are not alone in their battle.

MDA also shares these profiles with media in the hometowns of those profiled, increasing ALS awareness in local communities around the country.

Be sure to visit MDA’s website each day in May to meet 31 individuals who are living strong with ALS.

Help spread the word

Because the strongest case against ALS is made by those who are living with it, MDA has improved the sharing features on Anyone's Life Story and It's My Story, Too, making it easier to post profiles and testimonials to Facebook, Twitter, email and other social media sites.

"Let's all harness the power of social media in the fight against ALS," urged Augie Nieto in an article in the MDA/ALS Newsmagazine in May 2011.

Nieto, who is co-chair with his wife Lynne of MDA’s ALS Division, received an ALS diagnosis in 2005. A pioneer in the field of exercise equipment, Nieto now exercises his strong will by utilizing social media to raise awareness and funds for ALS research.

Using a computer trackball operated with his foot, Nieto wrote: "Imagine the possibilities if we're able to educate the ALS community in real time about the unprecedented research progress we’re making in the lab; keep donors engaged so that they keep giving to make this progress possible; and continue to give ALS families around the world HOPE.

"Hope that a cure isn’t far away, but instead is right around the 'social networking' corner."

ALSN Staff
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