ALS Advocacy Victory: Access to Complex Rehabilitation Technology Preserved

As ALS progresses, people living with the disease heavily depend on complex rehabilitative technology (CRT), especially their personally customized power wheel chairs. The ALS Association played a critical role both through direct lobbying and grassroots advocacy to win support for legislation to convince the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to abandon plans to apply competitive bidding to CRT. This makes it possible for people living with ALS to continue to obtain the CRT equipment that is customized to their needs.

CMS made this decision after bipartisan legislation, Protecting Beneficiary Access to Complex Rehab Technology Act of 2017 (S. 486/H.R. 1361), won the support of 105 Representatives and 22 Senators. The ALS Association unwaveringly worked to achieve this success by making this legislation a priority at the National ALS Advocacy Conference and encouraging advocates to contact their Members of Congress. Read more to learn about this exciting legislative win.

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Every Advocate Adds Up: Meet Larry

All month, we are featuring stories of individuals who are having an impact in the fight against ALS.

Meet Larry Harms. Larry is a father, grandfather, decorated Air Force veteran and tireless ALS advocate from Colorado. When you meet Larry, his wonderful sense of humor, optimism and love for life is immediately apparent. We recently sat down with Larry and learned how determined he is to live life to the fullest despite his diagnosis.

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A Patient Advocate and Doctor’s Perspective on Clinical Trials: Update on the Retigabine Phase II Trial

Last week, Dr. Brian Wainger of Massachusetts General Hospital and Stephen Winthrop, Chairman of The ALS Association Board of Trustees, gave their unique clinical trial perspectives during the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) webinar titled, “Retigabine Clinical Trial Update & Discussion with ALS Patient Advocate Stephen Winthrop.” For many years, The ALS Association has proudly partnered with NEALS to run ALS centered webinars to disseminate the most up-to-date information to the ALS community. Today’s post discusses the actively enrolling Retigabine clinical trial, which The ALS Association funds, as well as an honest perspective on what it is like to participate in ALS clinical trials.

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Every Fan Adds Up: Meet Shelly

All month, we are featuring stories of individuals who are having an impact in the fight against ALS.

Meet Shelly Hoover. Shelly is a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, educator, Giants baseball fan, military veteran and ALS advocate. When you meet Shelly, there are two things that immediately become apparent, her joy for life and her passion for working to advocate for people with ALS.  Her accomplishments are many. Since her diagnosis, she has volunteered, advocated and fundraised tirelessly. She and her family are why we fight for a cure!

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ALS – How Your Life Can Change in an Instant

Today, we are pleased to be joined by a wonderful ALS advocate Rob Robertson from Belleville, Ill. Rob proudly served our country in the U.S. Army for many years that included time in an elite fighting force “The Screaming Eagles.” He and his family faced many challenges over his lifetime, but nothing could have prepared him for his ALS diagnosis. Read his story and how he is bravely fighting ALS as an advocate, by raising money for research and teaching his fellow veterans and others about this devastating disease. Thank you for sharing your story Rob!

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Advocacy Day 2017 Highlights

On May 14- 16 more than 600 advocates took part in a very successful National ALS Advocacy Conference here in Washington, DC. Of the 600 advocates, 130 were people living with ALS. On Sunday and Monday, national experts and officials briefed participants on The ALS Association priorities and other “hot topics” that they might encounter in their congressional meetings and Chapter Executives prepared their state delegations for Hill meetings.

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Concerns About President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts

Last week, President Trump submitted his budget request to Congress. Included in the proposal are changes to funding for Medicaid, cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the complete defunding of the National ALS Registry at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The ALS Association is very concerned that these proposals will negatively impact people affected by ALS and will slow down the progress we have made in research for treatments and a cure. We do not believe this is a partisan issue – Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about the cuts contained in the President’s budget.

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