This month I am honored to write you this email on behalf of the Augie’s Quest Leadership Council. I am a husband, a veteran, a father of three small boys, and in April of 2014 I was diagnosed with ALS. I was only 30 years old.
I mentioned in my introduction that I am a veteran because it is extremely relevant in the battle against ALS. Numerous studies have indicated that military veterans are at least two times more likely to develop ALS, than their civilian counterparts. While we still don’t understand the reason for the higher prevalence among service members and veterans, the cost and toll ALS takes — especially among this community — is devastating. For example,
Since 2001, more veterans have been casualties of ALS, diagnosed with the disease, than overall casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
The cost in ALS care to the U.S. taxpayers reaches nearly $450 million annually. The cost to the children, spouses and friends of those affected by ALS cannot be quantified in dollars and cents.