Cutler Sponsors ALS Awareness Month Resolution

Legislation designates May 2011 as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month 

Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) announced today that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, with its adoption of his House Resolution 129, has designated May 2011 as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Awareness Month. 

“One of the aspects of the disease that I am particularly interested in is its impact on veterans, who have a higher rate of diagnosis than the civilian population,” said Cutler.  “No matter who is impacted, ALS is a cruel and devastating disease that is costly to treat and currently incurable.  I am hopeful that raising awareness about ALS will help us to one day find effective treatments and eventually a viable cure.” 

ALS, which is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease, which is characterized by weakness of the skeletal muscles, progressing to difficulty swallowing, breathing and talking.  The disease eventually causes muscles to atrophy, leading to loss of motor functions and death.  While the body is deteriorating, the disease does not affect the patient’s mental capacity. 

More than 5,000 cases of ALS are diagnosed annually.  The average survival rate of a newly diagnosed individual is two to five years.  It is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 70, and men are twice as likely as women to receive an ALS diagnosis. 

Cutler experienced the devastating impact of ALS as a teenager, when both of his parents were diagnosed and succumbed to the disease.  His first-hand knowledge of the physical progression of the disease, as well as its impact on the psyche of the patient and the patient’s family, have led him to advocate for finding a cure for ALS. 

“In 2011, there is still no known cause, prevention or cure for this terrible disease,” said Cutler.  “I believe there will come a day when ALS is not a death sentence, but first we have to bring attention to the plight of those families and individuals who suffer from the dreadful progression of this disease.” 

House Resolution 129 unanimously passed the House on April 11. 

State Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Nicole Wamsley

Share |