Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by degeneration of cell bodies of the lower motor neurons in the gray matter of the anterior horns of the spinal cord; and

Whereas The initial symptom of ALS is weakness of the skeletal muscles, especially those of the extremities. As the disease progresses, one experiences difficulty in swallowing, talking, and breathing, and eventually becomes a functional quadriplegic; and

Whereas ALS occurs in adulthood and affects men two to three times more often than women; and  

Whereas More than 5,000 new ALS patients are diagnosed annually; and

Whereas On average, people diagnosed with ALS only survive two to five years from the time of diagnosis; and

Whereas ALS has no known cause, means of prevention or cure; and

Whereas Through public awareness, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts seeks to inform citizens of the devastating effects of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim May 2012,  to be

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this eighteenth day of April, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
               By His Excellency                  

Deval L. Patrick                     
Governor of the Commonwealth           

William Francis Galvin             
Secretary of the Commonwealth       

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts