ALS Awareness Month – #ALSAwareness (Week 1)

May 14, 2020

There are awareness days, weeks and months throughout the year. Many people believe that only recently have awareness days come into being; but actually, awareness days goes back decades. For instance, the National Fire Prevention Week is observed during the month of October. National Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire that occurred in 1871 in which 300 people died, more than 100,000 people were left homeless, and more than 17,000 structures were destroyed. The first Presidential proclamation commemorating Fire Prevention Week was made in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge; but as early as 1911 the Fire Marshals Association of North America, sponsored the first Fire Prevention Day as a way to educate the public about fire safety.

Some awareness days commemorate time-honored treats such as National Popcorn Day on January 19, National Chocolate Day on October 28 (my favorite!) and National French Fry Day in July. National French Fry Day can be celebrated by enjoying some French fries, crinkled, straight or waffle-style, seasoned or dipped on July 13! Some other awareness days are silly and just for fun such as the International Talk Like a Pirate Day created in 1995 and celebrated on September 19. If someone wants to observe this day, they are invited to ‘talk like a pirate’ for a day. For instance, instead of saying “Good morning” or “Hello Everyone”, the person observing this day would greet others with “Ahoy, mates!”

Today, there are more than 1,500 days, weeks, months dedicated to observing or ‘raising awareness’ on particular topics which does not count the unofficial ones. Awareness days can vary from health awareness to environmental awareness. Having these awareness days have been helpful in heightening awareness around a specific cause or issue, start conversations and have been known to spur charity events and information campaigns. This column will continue to spotlight awareness days because I am a firm believer that people are empowered by knowledge!

This month I would like you to join me as we partner with the ALS Association to raise awareness on ALS. According to the Centers for Disease Control1, ALS Awareness Month is observed to raise awareness of and foster research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disorder of upper and lower motor neurons. The cause of ALS is not known, and no cure exists. The ALS Association was established in 1985 and has been leading the way in global research by providing assistance to those living with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters and fostering government partnerships. The ALS Association builds hopes and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

You are encouraged to contact the Wisconsin Chapter of the ALS Association to find out more information regarding volunteer opportunities as we continue to respect social distancing guidelines. Donation opportunities are also available:

The local Wisconsin ALS Chapter can be reached at:

3333 North Mayfair Road, Suite #104
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53222
P: 262-784-5257
Online visit the ALS Wisconsin Chapter at: www@alsawi.org

Source: 1 Centers for Disease Control: Announcement: ALS Awareness Month — May 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:428. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6616a6

Next Week: 5 Myths About ALS

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