ALS Affecting Veterans

ALS is best known as Lou Gehrig disease after the baseball hall of famer was diagnosed in 1939. But believe it or not…

“They don’t even know much more about it then they did when Lou Gehrig had it,” says James Thew an ALS sufferer.

What they do know is that it is much more likely to affect military personal who have served over seas. Jim Thew is one of them.

“From diagnosis life expectancy is two to five years, my diagnosis was in 2004,” says Thew.

So Thew knows he is living on borrowed time. But instead of giving up the his family is keeping hope alive. Kumyko Thew

“We need to keep our attitude more positive because we have three kids and our youngest was 8 at the time, and I don’t want to show him tears,” says James’ wife Kumyko.

Thew is pushing to have ALS recognized as a "service connected" disease. Right now it isn't if it develops later in life. Most veterans cant get the best benefits available. Thew says he isn’t concerned about himself; it’s his family members that are serving that concern him.

“When I found out it was service related me being someone that’s in the military that worries myself as well as the other veterans that are in the gulf,” says Lauren Thew, James’ niece and a member of the Army National Guard.

“I don’t wish this disease on my worst enemy, but if they were to get this I want them to be able to be taken care of, no questions asked,” added James Thew.