Picture a huge ALS game of musical chairs. There are perhaps around 20,000 people in the room sitting in 20,000 chairs. The music starts. The people get up and circle the chairs. In a year we jam 6,000 more people in that room. When the music stops, Mother Nature has a grim way of dealing with the 6,000 people without chairs.
This cruel game goes on year after year after year after year after year. The few chairs in the room don't mean that ALS isn't a significant problem. The small number of chairs means that ALS is a huge problem. The flow of new faces and the loss of life with this disease is staggering. The "rare" definition simply doesn't tell the story. Taking a snapshot of the chairs doesn't tell the story. Each chair belongs to a lot of victims.