Dallas-Area Doctors Raise Awareness About ALS

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease and you probably heard of it when the ice bucket challenge was trending.

To this day, little is known about the disease and a Dallas family hopes to change that.

Two years ago, Dr. Raghav Gupta was an avid runner with a passion for cooking, an active father, always on the go with his two daughters and a ophthalmologist with a successful practice in Frisco.

Today, ALS has robbed him of the ability to move.

"Mentally you're totally 100 percent in tact. Physically, little by little, you're trapped in your own body," said his wife, Dr. Hema Gupta.

According to the ALS Association, ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells that control voluntary movement, making moving the arms, legs, and face increasingly difficult over time.

Eventually, patients lose vital functions like breathing and swallowing. 
Most people live for two to five years after symptoms develop, and most eventually die from respiratory failure.

Hema and the couple's daughter Jothi say it's been difficult and shocking to see how fast the disease progresses but they say what shocks them the most is how little is known about the disease.

It can strike anyone at anytime and no one knows why.

"To me, that cuts a little more. It hurts more because we spend a lifetime going to school to take care of other people. Now, I feel like it's our turn and I feel like science and medicine has turned its back," said Hema.

But the Gupta family isn't turning their backs. They're facing ALS head on.

Jothi and her sister started a nonprofit called RG Foundation for ALS Awareness and while balancing her own dental practice and being a caretaker. Hema advocates and fundraises for the cause.

"We really want to help spread awareness because that will help us put money into research to help other victims of ALS to alleviate the pressure of this disease," said Jothi.

The Guptas will be taking part in the Walk to Defeat ALS scheduled for October 20th in Dallas.

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