Commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, gradually inhibiting the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement. Patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. An average of 15 people each day are diagnosed in the US, with 30,000 Americans having the disease at any given time.
Every year at Quicken Loans we have a fund raiser to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ALS Association. We are very proud to support their mission to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS, and help empower people with ALS to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.
Today my friend showed me one example of just how ALS patients' lives can be enhanced. Since ALS affects only motor neuronssight (as well as touch, hearing tast and smell) is not affected. Enter the Eyewriter. Check out this Eyewriter project developed in conjunction with Tony TEMPT1, an artist, publisher and social-activist based in Los Angeles who was diagnosed with ALS, which enables him to not only communicate with his eyes, but also to continue his artistic self-expression.
From the article in Laughing Squid:
"TEMPT1 teamed up with a group of artists and hackers from the Graffiti Research Lab, OpenFrameworks and Free Art and Technology communities to develop free and open source eye tracking and drawing software that has helped him make art again for the first time since being hospitalized."
Imagine if we could provide this technology to all those who are suffering with ALS, to enable them to continue to express themselves as their disease progresses.
Please consider helping the ALS association to use technology to not only enhance the lives of those with ALS, but to find the cure. We've made giving simple with our week-long fund drive, Tweet for ALS, enabling people to donate through Facebook and Twitter. From September 20 through September 26, we’re asking everyone we know to give what they can to help - even if it's just a dollar- and spread the word. Together, we can defeat ALS.