ALS Advocacy

ALS Advocacy
Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Let's Stop Shooting Our Cause In The Foot

Years ago a really smart person came up with the tagline, "Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS. Every 90 minutes someone else dies from ALS." That's a great, concrete, attention-grabber. Unfortunately it doesn't tell the whole story.

That "90 minutes" is based on U.S. statistics only. Around 6000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS every year and a like number die from ALS. That's around 16 U.S. diagnoses and deaths per day, or one every 90 minutes. Great. But it's U.S. only!

ALS is a global problem.

The United States has around 4.5% of the world's population according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

So... assuming that the incidence of ALS is similar globally, let's try some arithmetic...



6000 / .045 = 133,333 new cases and funerals annually worldwide. Whoa.

133,333 / 365 = 365 new cases and funerals daily worldwide. Wow.

365 / 24 = 15 new cases and funerals per hour worldwide. Holy moley.

60 / 15 means that every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS. Every 4 minutes someone else dies from ALS. Yikes.

So let's get it right. Either "Every 90 minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with ALS. Every 90 minutes someone else in the U.S. dies from ALS," or "Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS. Every 4 minutes someone else dies from ALS."

Tick, tick, tick.




Or maybe, "There are well over 100 thousand new cases of ALS annually. There are well over 100 thousand others who died from ALS last year."

p.s. If my arithmetic is off, I'm all ears.





p.p.s. Check out the first paragraph http://lillypad.lilly.com/corporate-responsibility/fighting-hunger-bold-goals-moral-obligation They made a problem come to life!




p.p.p.s. 1pm EDT Fixed the arith. Got carried away with zeroes. Sorry about that. Phew!

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