This book was compiled by David Feigenbaum, an ALS victim, who has gathered 33 personal
stories from fellow ALS patients and/or their caregivers. There is a lesson here for all
of us about coping with a terminal illness and the silver lining to be found in even the
worst of situations. It's an emotionally tough read, but people in all situations can get
a great deal out of this book.
The deadly neuromuscular disease ALS strikes adults of all ages from all walks of life.
Some are well known -- actor David Niven, soap star Michael Zaslow, Sen. Jacob Javits,
physicist Stephen Hawking -- and their stories have been told and retold. This book is
about the rest of us. People like Marcie Gibson, diagnosed at age 23 while pursuing her
dream to become a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader; Fred Kanzler, a retired engineer; Garland
Neill, a long-haul truck driver; John Cahalan, a lawyer and a lover of the outdoors. It's
about housewives, small-business owners and professionals, government workers, educators,
and even a young guitarist named Kyle Hahn who, with his girlfriend Terry Frank, has taken
ALS activism to a new level with their Banner of Faces campaign.
All have one thing in common: diagnosis ALS. When someone receives the terrible news, the
first reaction is: What am I in for? How will I be able to cope? What are others doing?
Often, addressing these concerns is not an area where doctors excel. Living in the shadow
of ALS (textbook prognosis: three to five years) is a harsh journey down a road they didn't
expect to take. In this book you will find 33 of these first-person journeys. Some are hopeful,
some sad. A few are angry. All are powerful, real-life examples of people doing their best
to cope, often with humor and high spirits.