Every year we read the names of Nevada ALS patients who have left us and then release balloons into the sky in their memory at the Walk n’ Roll in Las Vegas.
Patients like Maureen (Wendy) Rockenfeller, 55, of Boulder City, Nevada, who passed peacefully from this life on February 8, 2012. Wendy is survived by her adoring husband, Uwe; her cherished children, Kirsten and Justin; brother, sisters and several nieces and nephews.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” is a progressive invariably fatal neuromuscular disease that attacks the nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. With all voluntary muscle action affected, patients in the later stages are totally paralyzed, unable to speak, swallow, or breathe. As the disease progresses the simplest movements such as walking, speaking, eating and traveling quickly become nearly impossible. Every 96 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS. Current estimates are that between 20,000 and 30,000 people are living with ALS in the U.S. Difficult to diagnose, there is no known cure.