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Steve Franks, Pinellas Park, Florida

Florida Chapter

Steve Franks has lived with ALS since October 2003. The 53-year-old has continually educated others in Florida about this neurodegenerative disease by travelling across the Sunshine State with an awareness display, “Piece by Piece.” Piece by Piece consists of mannequins that represent Floridians who have perished from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. 

For its annual “ALS Across America” campaign in May, which is ALS Awareness Month, The ALS Association Florida Chapter is honoring Franks for his awareness efforts. 

Steve
Steve Franks stands in front of a portion of the "Piece by Piece" exhibit.

“Despite being stricken with ALS, Steve is a passionate advocate for those fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” said Florida Chapter Director of Marketing and Communications, Alissa Gutierrez.  “He has logged more than 15,000 miles traveling from city to city across the U.S. with the ‘Piece by Piece’ display.  He has painstakingly assembled every one of the mannequins for this campaign, which the chapter created in 2009.”

Even though the disease has impacted Franks’ mobility, he continues to inform his community about ALS. In a recent speech he gave in Tampa on Martin Luther King Day, Franks discussed the importance of advancing critical advocacy efforts.  He paraphrased portions of Dr. King’s speech and said, “I have a dream that one day being diagnosed with ALS will not be a death sentence.  I have a dream that another 140 years doesn’t go by without a treatment.  I have a dream where there is no ALS Association, not because we have failed but because we have succeeded.  I have a dream I will live long enough to see these dreams become a reality.”

Due to the progression of his ALS, Franks will not be able to travel to Washington D.C. with the “Piece by Piece” display as he did last year for the National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference.  Yet he will continue to work with the chapter to educate other Floridians about the disease.

Steve Franks has lived with ALS since October 2003. The 53-year-old has continually educated others in Florida about this neurodegenerative disease by travelling across the Sunshine State with an awareness display, “Piece by Piece.” Piece by Piece consists of mannequins that represent Floridians who have perished from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. 

For its annual “ALS Across America” campaign in May, which is ALS Awareness Month, The ALS Association Florida Chapter is honoring Franks for his awareness efforts.  

“Despite being stricken with ALS, Steve is a passionate advocate for those fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” said Florida Chapter Director of Marketing and Communications, Alissa Gutierrez.  “He has logged more than 15,000 miles traveling from city to city across the U.S. with the ‘Piece by Piece’ display.  He has painstakingly assembled every one of the mannequins for this campaign, which the chapter created in 2009."

Even though the disease has impacted Franks’ mobility, he continues to inform his community about ALS. In a recent speech he gave in Tampa on Martin Luther King Day, Franks discussed the importance of advancing critical advocacy efforts.  He paraphrased portions of Dr. King’s speech and said, “I have a dream that one day being diagnosed with ALS will not be a death sentence.  I have a dream that another 140 years doesn’t go by without a treatment.  I have a dream where there is no ALS Association, not because we have failed but because we have succeeded.  I have a dream I will live long enough to see these dreams become a reality.”

Due to the progression of his ALS, Franks will not be able to travel to Washington D.C. with the “Piece by Piece” display as he did last year for the National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference.  Yet he will continue to work with the chapter to educate other Floridians about the disease.

 

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