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Benson Legislation Urging Designation of ALS Awareness Month in New Jersey Now Law

(TRENTON) – A joint resolution Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) sponsored to encourage ALS Awareness in the state and throughout the country was signed into law on Tuesday.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The resolution states the disease strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and as many as 30,000 men and women in the United States have the disease at any given time.

“The ALS Bucket challenge brought much-needed attention to the ALS cause,” said Benson. “A special designation for ALS in New Jersey will raise awareness as well as honor those who are bravely battling the disease.”

According to the ALS Association, approximately 6,400 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that more than 20,000 Americans may be living with ALS at any given time.

“Although there’s no cure for ALS, medical advancements continue to be made that help ALS patients live longer and more comfortably,” added Benson. “An awareness campaign will help the general public better understand ALS, and promote resources so patient families know there is help out there to support them.”

The resolution designates the third Wednesday in May as “ALS Awareness Day,” and May as “ALS Awareness Month in NJ. The joint resolution takes effect immediately.