Bulletin 20-20

April 30, 2020

UFLAC, LAFD, and Stevens Nation Join Forces to Support ALS Awareness

(Click HERE to order your ALS Awareness T-Shirt)

UFLAC, LAFD, and Stevens Nation have joined forces to promote and support ALS Awareness during the month of May. As you know, we recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and participate in “Movember” during “No Shave November” to bring awareness to men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Now it is time to raise awareness for all those diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), including one of our own Firefighters, Eric Stevens.

Eric was recently diagnosed with ALS a month after getting married. His hope is to shed light on this underfunded disease, start a dialogue, and motivate people in power to make changes that allow terminally ill patients to have access to treatments that are still in trials but are proven to be safe. Stevens Nation is advocating for patients who don’t have a year or two to wait for treatment to have access to this medical care that might drastically reduce their suffering. For more information, please visit https://stevensnation.com and follow #AxeALS and #PushForTreatment on social media.

The primary goal of the LAFD and UFLAC’s involvement in ALS Month is to support those personally affected by ALS and to reach thousands of people with the message that individuals suffering from ALS are in a race against time for life-saving treatment to be approved by the FDA.

All members are authorized during the month of May to wear the newly designed ALS/LAFD T-Shirt while on duty to support ALS Awareness. By this very public display of wearing red T-Shirts, LAFD Firefighters and Paramedics can help to raise public awareness and speed up the approval of treatment options for this devastating disease. We encourage everyone to wear them.

ALS Facts to Consider:

  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gherig’s disease, is a rare neurological disease involving the neurons, which control voluntary muscle movement such as chewing, walking, talking, and breathing.
  • As ALS progresses, the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord degenerate and die, and as a result, the brain can no longer control voluntary movement. Eventually, the muscles weaken and waste away.
  • In most cases, ALS is a rapidly progressing disease, however, it progresses at different rates for different people. Most people with ALS will live for 2 to 5 years after first experiencing symptoms.
  • The exact cause of ALS is unknown and there is currently no cure.
  • There are treatments that have been proven to help stop or slow the progression of the disease, however, they are not approved by the FDA.
  • Currently, the most promising treatment called NurOwn is going through a phase 3 trial, meaning that people who have been diagnosed and are potentially a good match for this treatment don’t have access to it unless they are accepted into a trial.
  • Once the NurOwn trial ends, all participants are taken off the treatment even if it is greatly improving their lives until NurOwn is eventually approved by the FDA which is possibly years away.

We have a limited number of ALS T-Shirts available at www.uflac.org for $25. Please call UFLAC at (213) 977-9001 for availability and sizes. 100% of the profits from t-shirt sales will go to https://www.projectals.org at the request of Stevens Nation to help find a treatment for ALS patients. Thank you for your support!

UFLAC Executive Board