“ALS run from Augusta to Aiken”
By Samantha Williams
Published: February 13, 2017, 6:24 pm | Updated: February 13, 2017, 6:24 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– ALS looks different for every person. Dr. Michael Rivner said the disease affects skeletal muscles.
“ALS is a fatal neuromuscular disease where basically you lose control of your muscles. It usually starts in one of the limbs, usually and arm or a leg or even a voice box, and get progressively worse. Usually most patients die within five years of the first symptom,” Dr. Rivner explained.
Dr. Franklyn Beckles, Jr. and his son, Christian Beckles, ran from downtown Augusta, Georgia to Aiken Technical College in Aiken, South Carolina this morning in support of Rev. Franklyn Beckles, Sr. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2014!
“Him being a victim of ALS, I wanted not only to help him, but others in the community suffering from this tragic disease. There’s thousands of people each year that die from Lou-Gehrig’s disease,” Beckles Jr. said.
Dr. Rivner said the most important thing about raising awareness is emphasizing the symptoms.
“Part of the problem is there is no test that definitively diagnosis someone with ALS. Basically, it’s a matter of putting together the signs and symptoms and coming to that diagnosis. There’s lots of things we can do to symptomatically help these patients, but unfortunately, at this point, we don’t have a cure,” Dr. Rivner said.
Augusta University partakes in research that develops treatments. They are working on finding a cure.
“We want to make a difference, and we believe if men stand up in the community, it will make a difference,” Dr. Beckles Jr. concluded.