An Interview with DannyD to Kick-Off ALS Awareness Month

It’s ALS Awareness Month!  Did you know there are more than 4,500 patients with ALS (PALS) in PatientsLikeMe’s flagship community?  We’ll be updating you all month on what is being learned by and from our PALS, so stay tuned.  To kick us off, here is an interview with one of our long-time, three-star members  – DannyD.  Read on to find out what he recently told our very own Amy Morton about living with hope, making resolutions, being impulsive, and learning from PatientsLikeMe.

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2166 (Amy) What gives you hope?

(DannyD) People give me hope. I know there is an army of people and organizations out there working to cure ALS while continually finding ways to maintain quality of life until there is a cure. Even in these tough economic times, people are still giving of themselves, whether it is their time and/or money. I even saw somebody with a tab open, reading an review, considering taking out a loan to donate. Moreover, I think in the last 10 years we’ve made more progress into understanding ALS than we’ve made in the previous 100+ years, and as my disease process is progressing very slowly, I’m optimistic that I will see a cure in my lifetime.

2166 (Amy) What are your resolutions for 2010?
44 (DannyD) I don’t usually make resolutions, because I think you can set yourself up for failure. But I do strive to be a better person, by being more patient, understanding and tolerant, which is most challenging for me. Historically, I think I’ve accomplished that but only in baby steps. I do try to learn something new every day and teach something to someone, and I will continue to do that in 2010.


2166 (Amy) What’s the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done?
44 (DannyD) I’m generally not very impulsive, so I would have to say in 1990 when I was living in New York and just prior to getting married.  I went to work on Friday for a 3-11 shift as a paramedic and was greeted by three of my closest friends, who hijacked me away to begin what would be a two-and-a-half-day bachelor party. They shackled an eight-pound bowling ball to my ankle for the entire weekend. They had made arrangements to have my shift covered, took me to dinner and then back to the volunteer firehouse for a huge party. The next morning we got on a chartered bus for a day in Atlantic City and gambling at the casinos on the boardwalk. It was a heck of a weekend.
2166 (Amy) What would you like to learn from PatientsLikeMe and its members this year?
44 (DannyD) I started as a beta tester here and have watched it grow into the largest online community of patients helping patients. With all the restrictions put in place by the HIPAA laws, this website has transcended the status quo and become a great tool in helping patients fight this disease and several others. Truth be told, for purely selfish reasons, I would like to learn this website is no longer necessary for the ALS community because the cure is here!
2166 (Amy) A beta tester?  Wow.  Well, thank you for sharing with us today and every day since you joined, DannyD!
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