Monday, February 9, 2009

Les Turner ALS Foundation Joins AgentspayingForward.com

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I like telling people when a new charity joins our site, so that you can get a sense of who we are trying to support. Our mission is to help non-profits, schools, and churches. The aforementioned groups do great things, and The Les Turner ALS Foundation is certainly an organization that deserves help. I am proud to have this organization as one of the charities to support, and also proud to be associated with both Mark and Laura Anderson.
I also like having the agents that are on the site write about why they are paying it forward for their particular charity. Many people say their real estate agent is this or that, but I challenge you to tell me you think Mark Anderson of Keller Williams is not a remarkable man. His story is below, and tells why he wants to pay it forward for the Les Turner ALS Foundation. More than that, Mark shows how many American's can turn a negative into a positive. Fighting to find a cure for ALS is personal for Mark - it's not just business. Please take the time to read Mark's information below, and also to help Mark and the Les Turner ALS Foundation find a cure for ALS.

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This neuromuscular disease currently has no cure, with those afflicted losing their lives 3 to 5 years following a confirmed diagnosis.
Major limbs, either both arms or both legs are the first to be affected; in my mom's case, the legs. A short time later, the strength in her arms vanished, and soon thereafter she was bedridden for the remainder of her life. Mom's condition was very rapid, though there are known cases where the progression of the disease is much slower, yet no less insidious. Such is the case with professor Stephen Hawking, the well known scientist and author.

Statistically ALS is well down the list among fatal illnesses. It's comparative rarity, combined with the lack of test subjects (most die too quickly) means little has been done to isolate the possible cause and develop an effective treatment. Most ALS sufferers lose complete motorneuron activity, while maintaining complete cognitive ability, which makes this disease almost too horrible for most people to contemplate. In my mom's case however, I think the spread of the disease affected the frontal and temporal lobes of her brain, which has been a reported event in some, but not all patients. This phenomenon made it seem like she was losing her mind, and her frequent rants created additional stress, affecting all those who were charged with her care.
So little is known about ALS that it is identified only after all possible diseases are eliminated from consideration. Imagine hoping to be spared your worst fear by receiving news a lesser disease with a more comforting, treatable "label" attached to it, only to be told all other possibilities have been tested for and discarded. That death will come to you as lie immobile with only the ability to move your eyes, with your brain fully aware that your lungs can no longer expel the inevitable buildup of fluid. All ALS deaths are respiratory, unless in cases of a fall, or some other means not related to the illness.Usually, the cause of death is stated as pneumonia.
ALS usually affects males over forty years of age. Race geographic location, and lifestyle are irrelevant. Generally speaking, the disease is very random, though my mom had what's known as a familial strain of the disease.
Two of her brothers had died previous to her own death, a fact her physician found very interesting, though of course nothing could be done to affect the outcome. Research seemed to suggest ALS may "skip" a generation, however this is not true. Subsequent to my mom's death, a first cousin, and the son of yet another of my mom's brothers was determined to have ALS. He died at age 49, after approximately one year of living with the illness.
Mark closed out his note to me with the following words: "ALS is an affliction that is truly the stuff of all our nightmares. This is a bad one...I cannot imagine a worse hand to be dealt.". If you are looking to buy or sell real esate in Minnesota, please consider working with Mark and Laura Anderson with Keller Williams. Your working with the Anderson's will help the Les Turner ALS Foundation fight a horrible disease. You can reach Mark and Laura Anderson at (651) 307-4020 or (651) 428-4996.

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