The ALS Association

I'm Still the Same Guy Inside

Stuart O. Huntsville, Alabama

This is my son, Eric. He was diagnosed with ALS at age 20, while a student at Georgia Tech studying Computer Science. His ALS was bulbar-onset, and fast progressing, so soon he became unable to continue his studies. While his voice and body failed, he worked with researchers at Georgia Tech and others on brain/computer interfaces so that he could continue to communicate. He got involved in advocacy at the State and Federal levels, lobbying for research dollars and the National ALS Registry. In 2005, he testified before a Senate subcommittee hearing about the need for federal support of these programs. By the time Eric lost his 9 year battle with ALS, he could not walk, eat, breathe on his own, or even blink or move his eyes. But his faith and inner strength allowed him to do more for the ALS community than most able bodied people do in a full lifetime. "I'm still the same guy inside", Eric wrote on his computer not long after his tracheotomy stole his voice. Eric hoped for a cure, and his family and all those his too-short life touched are working to fulfill his wish.

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