The ALS Association
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Every Collaboration

By Sandeep Rana, M.D.

sandeep-testimonial-box-webpageIn my opinion, ALS is the worst diagnosis a person can receive. With most diseases, you have a fighting chance. But for people with ALS, there are no effective treatments that prolong life. Period. So when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge soaked the world, this 100% fatal disease finally got the spotlight it deserves and the funding needed to finally do something about its devastating effects.

As a neurologist, I’ve treated ALS patients for more than 20 years. Families confronted by ALS are - without question - the nicest, kindest people I’ve ever worked with. It’s been incredibly inspiring to help these families navigate their ALS journey as a member of their support network.

Two years ago, the clinic where I work was proud to earn the distinction of ALS Certified Treatment Center of Excellence™. Thanks to everyone who accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge, The ALS Association has doubled its grants to ALS clinics like ours around the country. This certification and funding helped us attract more patients and substantially enhance the care we provide.

Today, our clinic cares for approximately 80 ALS patients. Normally, they come once every three months and in one visit see a variety of specialists who work together to provide personalized care that manages ever-changing symptoms each individual faces.

Collaborative, multidisciplinary care enhances quality of life for people with ALS.

Multidisciplinary care can look a little different at each medical center but at its core is based on the collaboration of a team of experts. For example, the respiratory therapist helps mitigate a person’s difficulty breathing, while physical and occupational therapists help with mobility and adapting to life with progressively weakening muscles. The social worker helps identify local resources and family support, while nurses and behavioral therapists address various medical and emotional needs. Together, my team discusses each patient’s condition and we all work together to develop a personalized, long-term care plan.

Additionally, increased funding allows us to think creatively and expand our clinical research program. Currently, we are engaging engineers at Carnegie Melon University to develop prostheses for people living with ALS, which will significantly increase quality of life.

Every collaboration adds up.

When we work together, we unlock the mysteries of ALS. In the last two years alone, we have come so far to help treat and care for people living with ALS. But we have more work to do. Please support The ALS Association to ensure that clinics like mine continue to receive the funding we need to give people confronted by ALS the best life possible.

Are you looking for an ALS clinic in your area? Go to ALSA.org/community/centers-clinics.

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