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May 2012: ALS Awareness Month
WHEREAS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a very progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord; and,
WHEREAS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS symptoms include muscle weakness in the hands, arms and legs, slurred speech and difficulty breathing or swallowing; progression of the disease may lead to patients becoming totally paralyzed and possible death; and,
WHEREAS, it is estimated that 15 new cases of ALS are diagnosed every day in our nation, mostly affecting Caucasian men between the ages of 40 and 70 years old; studies show that military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS as those who have not served in the military; and,
WHEREAS, during this month, we raise awareness of ALS in Michigan and the devastating effects this disease can have on patients and their families; we encourage citizens to learn more about ALS and support continued research for an ALS cure;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2012 as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month in Michigan.