I am Angelina Fanous

living with ALS


ALS can strike anyone. Of any race or gender. At any time.

My story begins like every other patient’s story: I was fairly healthy, in good shape, and completely content with the life I was leading as a journalist living in Brooklyn, NY.

Before my 28th birthday, I started having difficulty typing, which prompted my doctor to run a slew of tests. At the end of one doctor’s appointment, I was given a phone number to call for a follow-up. The next day, I called and a voice answered, “thanks for calling the ALS clinic at Columbia, how can I help you?”

It took an entire year to confirm the ALS diagnosis. By this point, I was fluent in ALS, so when the doctor said, “You’re displaying upper motor neuron symptoms,” I knew exactly what he meant.

Nonetheless, I didn’t believe him. I couldn’t believe him. ALS is an old white man’s disease and I simply didn’t fit the demographic. So, I went to another doctor and another one, and a third one after that, because I was convinced someone made a dire mistake.

I was the one mistaken, because ALS can strike anyone. Of any race or gender. At any time.

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