I have a good friend by the name of John "Johnny" McNeeley who is a real life hero to me. Johnny suffers from ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease because the famous baseball hall-of-famer contracted the muscular disorder that shortened his career and claimed his life.
As much as I love baseball, I hate ALS and what it has done to my friend. With a contagious laugh and a ready, engaging smile, Johnny never met a stranger. Today he speaks by means of an iPad that he carries wherever he goes so that he can type out words to communicate. He doesn't go far or fast anymore since he is confined to a walker. He still has his sharpness of mind, but he has little control over most all the muscles of his body.
Although he once owned the famed McNeeley's restaurant and bar on
Street in ,
he now refuses to go out to dinner since he is saddened by the stares and
meanness of people who seem disgusted by the fact that he drools and has a hard
time chewing his food. He keeps a handkerchief at his mouth to avoid saliva and
food spillage. Atlanta
A recent CNN story describes ALS this way, "It is like being duct taped to a chair with openings only for your eyes and mouth." I hope you will take time to view the video of Steve Gleason, another ALS patient recently featured on ABC News.
ALS kills approximately 100,000 people per year. We need to expose this dreadful disease.
Please do what you can to share information in an attempt to get our government officials and others to release the experimental drugs that are greatly needed to help combat this tragic killer.
Please use the link below to watch the ABC News video to gain knowledge and then do what you can to spread the word to help rescue my friend Johnny from his duct tape prison.
An earlier photo of Johnny McNeeley with his wife and three daughters