NO. R-189.  JOINT RESOLUTION urging the U.S. Congress to appropriate sufficient federal medical research funds to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

(J.R.H.21)

Offered by:  Representatives Freed of Dorset, Hube of Londonderry and Livingston of Manchester.

Whereas, 134 years have passed since medical scientists identified Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurological disease which attacks an individual’s motor neurons, resulting in rapid deterioration of all voluntary muscle activity, and

Whereas, ALS victims suffer through a prolonged period of increasingly debilitating limitations, and ultimately paralysis, lasting three to five years before dying from the ravages of the disease, and

Whereas, ALS is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in memory of the famous New York Yankees’ baseball player who was ALS’s most famous victim and whose untimely demise in 1941, at the age of 37, saddened the nation, and

Whereas, while recent pharmaceutical advances have brought new hope to the victims of many diseases, research on developing a cure to stem the effects of ALS remains minimal, and

Whereas, in 2003, the disease’s victims have hardly any greater hope of survival than they did 63 years ago at the time of Lou Gehrig’s death, and 

Whereas, tragically, despite the notoriety which this disease has gained due to its most famous victim, ALS retains the status of an orphan disease, namely one for which only a minimal amount of federal research funds has been dedicated to seriously study and develop a cure, and

Whereas, it is long past time that sufficient federal research funds be appropriated to finance adequately research in pursuit of an ALS cure, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges Congress to appropriate sufficient federal medical research funds to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Tommy Thompson, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation, and to the ALS Association in Calabasas Hills, California.