Landmark ALS book an important new tool for c...


Landmark ALS book an important new tool for caregivers and also raises funds for Robarts ALS research.
Ruth McFeat's "Labour of Love" publication dedicated to husband lost to ALS
LONDON, ON (May 12, 1999) -- Today, author Ruth McFeat and Dr. Mark Poznansky, President and Scientific Director of The John P. Robarts Research Institute, announced the release of a book which will be an important new tool for ALS clinicians, allied caregivers and families of ALS patients and will raise funds for ALS research.
Ruth has written a 90-page book, "Making Sense Out of the Senseless", dedicated to her husband, the late Forrest McFeat, detailing her family's experience with Forrest's accelerated case of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) and how they were able to care for him at home and ensure his life was happy and dignified. Ruth explains: "Making Sense Out of the Senseless" was written over a 12-month period as my daughter Brenda, my son Stuart, and I dealt with our emotions connected to Forrests's illness and death. The book idea started one day towards the end of Forrest's life. I said we should write a book detailing some of the great ideas we and the nurses came up with--to help other families who are nursing a paralysed relative at home, as well as providing information for medical professionals. Forrest smiled and blinked agreement with his eyes. The year spent writing the book was a healing process for Brenda, Stuart and myself. More importantly, the book allows us to share our experiences, while raising much needed funds for ALS Research at Robarts Research Institute!"
Dr. Michael Strong is an ALS researcher at Robarts, a Neurologist at London Health Science Centre and is one of a handful of ALS specialists worldwide. He explains: "ALS is a relentless and very progressive disease of the nervous system which prevents the proper flow of messages through the nerves. An abnormal accumulation of structural elements within the nerve cells may be a cause of the blockage of the brain's impulses to the voluntary muscles throughout the body. When the muscles do not receive these messages, they quickly become weak from lack of use, wither and die, eventually causing death or total paralysis."
At the forefront of his field, Dr. Strong's research focuses on trying to understand how structural proteins (neurofilaments) accumulate within degenerating motor neurons (nerve cells) and how they contribute to the disease process at a molecular level. If he can find a way to prevent or reverse the accumulation of the neurofilaments, he may be able to develop new ways to treat this insidious and very common disease.
Dr. Poznansky comments: "It is a wonderful initiative. We are so pleased that Ruth and her family have decided to support ALS research at Robarts. Her book is a vital addition to the field of Lou Gehrig's Disease, and will help numerous caregivers and families to better deal with this disease."
Ruth comments: "The success of our family journey through the 20 months of Forrest's illness was a result of tremendous dedication and guidance from numerous medical professionals, the support of our local community of Dutton/Dunwich, the London ALS Chapter and Support Group, and other friends and family members. We especially appreciate the help of our book reviewers and the excellent printing job provided by The Aylmer Express. The success of our dreams for a future cure for ALS will be helped greatly by those who purchase the book!"
In order to seal their commitment to ALS Research at Robarts, the McFeat Family (and extended family) presented Dr. Poznansky with a cheque for a donation of $1,100 toward ALS research at the Institute.
The more books Ruth sells, obviously the more money raised for ALS research. "Making Sense Out of the Senseless" costs $10. Of this, $7 will go to ALS research at Robarts, and the other $3 will pay printing costs and income tax. To have the book mailed, there is an additional cost of $5 for postage and handling. Cheques to purchase the book may be mailed to "McFeat Family Group Inc." c/o Ruth McFeat, PO Box 124, Dutton, Ontario, Canada, N0L 1J0.