City Social Magazine

SEP-OCT 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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23 ALS is a progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease, one that physicians and healthcare professionals haven't yet discovered a cure for—something that Brett Hebert knows all-too-well after losing his grandfather, Arthur Porciau, to the disease. Knowing first-hand how it affects not just pALS (people with ALS) in the physical sense, but emotionally and mentally, as well, Brett decided to do something about it. In honor of his grandfather, then, and to give pALS in the Greater Baton Rouge area a helping hand, Brett decided to focus his Eagle Scout project on modifying and providing ALS patients with ramps to use in their homes. Because the costs associated with ALS can be tremendous, as can the obtaining and maintaining of equipment such as ramps, Brett partnered with the Louisiana- Mississippi Chapter of the ALS Association—an organization that provides medical equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, Hoyer lifts, eye-gaze screens and other items that people living with ALS are in need of at no cost to patients. Owing to their generosity, Brett was given access to the chapter's equipment and was subsequently able to experiment and devise ways to modify ramps to guarantee the highest level of safety for those living with ALS. Some of his modifications included adding skid resistance and metal strips to the respective ramps—an effort that garnered him much-deserved thanks from pALS when unveiled during a ALS support group meeting held here in Baton Rouge. One such patient and attendee, confined to a wheelchair, was so touched she tearfully related how she was unable to go outside. In turn, she revealed that this prevented her from being able to see her flowers in bloom that year. Thanks to the ramp which Brett and the chapter's Care Services Coordinator, Sherry, delivered to her following the meeting, however, she is now able to go in and out of her house and to see By Sherry Hamilton, Care Services Coordinator; Emily Leitzinger, Director of Events, ALS Association, LA/MS Chapter Photos by Sherry Hamilton her flowers at her leisure. But it isn't only Brett who deserves mention; it is each and every volunteer who gives their time and energy to the support of those afflicted with ALS, including, but not limited to, those who've helped organize and will participate in the upcoming Baton Rouge Walk to Defeat ALS at Perkins Rowe! Set for October 28th, the Baton Rouge Walk to Defeat ALS aims to provide the same kind of assistance and hope-restoring emotional and mental well-being as Brett did with ramps. The focus of the walk is also on raising awareness of this highly- important cause, as well as advocating for pALS and providing opportunities for education and research related to the causes, symptoms, and potential outcomes of ALS. In order to make such opportunities a reality, heighten awareness and understanding of the disease, the fundraising goal for this year's walk is $125,000! Want to help meet this goal? Donate to the cause and join fight against ALS! If interested in participating as a walker, register (for free) at http://web.alsa.org/BatonRouge2017. Attendees can also expect to have a world of fun at the event—whether as a walker or simply attending—as there's to to be food, free of charge, lively music and activities perfect for the kids! So mark your calendars, save the date and show a helping hand. In turn, prepare to earn a special place in the hearts and minds of pALS in Greater Baton Rouge and beyond. Let's Walk, Run and Build Support For ALS Patients Building Ramps and Walking in Support of ALS patients ALS is a progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease that affects voluntary muscle movement. Persons with ALS become paralyzed — unable to walk, speak, swallow or breathe on their own. ALS usually strikes between the ages of 40 and 70. For unknown reasons, military veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed. AŌer diagnosis, people with ALS typically have a life expectancy of 2-5 years. At this Ɵme, there is no effecƟve treatment and no cure. With your support, The ALS AssociaƟon Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter's Walk to Defeat ALS provides help and hope to those living with the disease through care services, advocacy, educaton and awareness, and research. www.walktodefeatals.org www.alsalams.org Emily.Leitzinger@alsalams.org Saturday, October 28, 2017 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Perkins Rowe Free food, music and children's acƟviƟes Fundraising Goal: $125,000 No cost to register! hƩp://web.alsa.org/BatonRouge2017

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