WASHINGTON — Today, a resolution to designate May as ALS Awareness Month was agreed to in the Senate. The resolution, authored by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate ALS Caucus, officially declares May 2021 as "ALS Awareness Month" to raise awareness of the need to expand research and treatment options for those with ALS.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that destroys the body’s ability to control muscle movement. There is no effective treatment for the disease, no known cause, and currently no cure. This month, the caucus announced that six new members have joined the fight against ALS. Senators Coons, Braun, and their colleagues have recently helped ensure ALS patients are given access to their Social Security Disability Insurance benefits without a five-month waiting period.
“This ALS Awareness month, the Senate is standing with ALS patients and their families as we continue to push toward better treatment and therapy options,” said Senator Coons. “Since we launched the ALS caucus last year, we’ve already made an important change in the law to ensure patients receive the benefits they need and deserve. Now, I’m continuing to push for key priorities of the ALS community – including early access to promising investigational therapies for patients. I look forward to more progress ahead with growing bipartisan momentum.”
“Since first launching the Senate ALS Caucus, we’ve made real progress for patients like ensuring that ALS patients can get the Social Security Disability benefits they are entitled to in a timely manner,” said Senator Braun. “Now as ALS Awareness Month draws to a close, we must recommit ourselves to being advocates for access to meaningful treatments for those fighting this terrible disease that can affect anyone.”
"Every moment matters for people with ALS and their families," said Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of The ALS Association. "ALS takes away the freedom to move, communicate, eat and breathe. Thank you to Senators Chris Coons and Mike Braun, and Representatives Jason Crow and Brian Fitzpatrick for introducing a resolution in Congress to recognize May as ALS Awareness Month."
"A majority of Americans still do not know that ALS is always fatal despite the fact that this disease can impact anyone, anywhere. The leadership of Senators Coons and Braun is critical in moving us ever closer to accessing ALS treatments and cures and we are so grateful to them for introducing this resolution that will help make sure everyone knows about ALS and our urgent opportunity to put an end to it," said Danielle Carnival, CEO of I AM ALS.
Coons and Braun launched the Senate ALS Caucus in January 2020 along with U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.). The mission of the caucus is to: