Notes From the ALS Front - a Column by Rick Jobus

living, what's next, train, sweetness, support groups

Rick is a 62-year-old man who was diagnosed with ALS in January 2007. Currently a resident of Southwest Florida, he has lived in four other metropolitan areas, but greater Chicagoland will always be “home.” Rick is a degreed engineer, spending his career in the medical device industry. He’s had the good fortune of extensive travel throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He writes, in part, to be an ALS advocate. Additionally, it is his hope that his output will help dispel the myth that technical folk and digestible prose aren’t mutually exclusive.

A Picture Perfect Start to My Day?

“Be intent upon the perfection of the present day.” –William Law Today I experienced an uninterrupted utopia, recognizing that utopia may be a subjective, non-absolute concept, best expressed in the eye of the beholder. Allow me to describe what l beheld. It began with an unwanted, mildly disturbing occurrence. In…

To ‘B’ or Not to ‘B’?

That is the question. Vitamin B, that is. And any other nutritional supplement. Shortly after ALS crashed my party, I was introduced to the book “Eric Is Winning,” by Eric Edney. Edney was a long-term ALS survivor (over 20 years) who attributed his longevity to a regimen that included,…

Stumbling Upon an ALS-free Zone

“Hope is the thing with feathers” –Emily Dickinson Recently, my wife and I went to see a stand-up comedian at our local indoor stadium. My fervent hope was that our evening together would be a unifying, restorative one. It was in that spirit that we performed all of the mental and…

Right to Try vs. Right to Say No: An Open Letter to Lawmakers

Dear Congress, The recently enacted federal Right to Try Law (RTT) is really a “Right to Ask” law. And, for the pharmaceutical companies, it’s a “Right to Say No.” Which they certainly almost always will. Case in point: BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics pre-emptively announced that NurOwn, its ALS stem cell treatment candidate,…

Keeping the Faith

ALS has been a blessing to me. You read that right — a blessing. Oh, it has been many other things: ordeal, handicap, curse, millstone, scene-stealer, tormentor, humiliator, predator, interloper, income garnisher, bully, danger, satirist, infidel, and terrorist. It strives, ultimately, to be my terminator. But, if not for ALS,…

The Placebo Effect of Fighting ALS

“I’m afraid you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.” My neurologist continued, “Anyone can get it, even myself,” and like Charlie Brown in the classroom, I shut him off completely, reducing his vocal output to a series of horn mutes. I then went home and googled ALS. Devastated by what I…