‘I AM ALS’ searches for a cure to all neurodegenerative diseasesJune 19, 2019
CHICAGO — After one of them was diagnosed with ALS, a married pair of political insiders are taking on a new mission: starting a movement to unlock the mysteries of the disease, in hopes of revealing cures for other neurodegenerative ailments as well.
For years, Brian Wallach and his wife Sandra Abrevya worked behind the scenes, trying to get America’s first black president, Barack Obama, elected in 2008. Through grueling campaign days and subsequent stints at the White House, they found purpose in their work and fell in love along the way.
Then Wallach was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at 37. Right now, the average life expectancy for patients is just two to five years. There are few patient advocates because the disease progresses so rapidly. The lawyer, husband, and father to two very young daughters was devastated.