Martin Wallem ALS 2016
Organized by: Renate Martl-Wallem
An avid sportsman and outdoorsman, Martin first noticed symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as ALS in 2001, when he was 31. He and his wife, Cara, had been married less than a year. They originally blamed his slow, slurred speech on brain injury from a snowboarding accident. But after a year, the ALS was confirmed. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Martin has experienced all of these symptoms. He went from being a very active person working and playing out in nature, to being confined to a wheelchair now, with a vent to help him breathe and a stomach tube to help him eat. Luckily, he has the support of family and friends to allow him to still experience the outdoors. The annual cost for an ALS patient is a minimum of $63,000. Your fundraising efforts will go towards this and our current project, to take advantage of technological advancements and procure him a communication device to give Martin back a voice. Please donate, knowing that 100% of your donation goes directly into his fund.