I first learned about ALS when I was a young child. You see, I absolutely loved baseball and one of my favorite things to do was to learn as much about the game as I could. Part of this education involved learning about the players from the past; the guys that made the game what it is today.
Lou Gehrig was one of these guys. Born with the innate ability to crush a baseball, Gehrig was, arguably, the great Yankee to ever wear the uniform. His career, however, was unfortunately cut short when he developed ALS.
What is ALS?
ALS, referred to in medical circles as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a disease that devastates the nerves in the spinal cord and the brain. The spinal cord is responsible for allowing neurons to go from the brain to the muscles throughout the body. ALS progressively degenerates these neurons to the point where they eventually die.
Without them, the brain cannot control any of the body's voluntary muscles. Towards the later stages of this disease, most patients become completely paralyzed.