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doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000390003.79329.f7

A photo series of Neurology Now readers.

Catherine Wolf, on living with amytrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Catherine Wolf, age 62.

When were you diagnosed with ALS? How did you react? Fall, 1997. First, I reacted with denial. I pursued treatments for Lyme disease and neuropathy. Then I told myself I'd be a slow progressor. Finally, I accepted the diagnosis and got proactive concerning my future needs. I also became active in the ALS community.

How did friends and family react? There was a range of reactions, from disbelief to supportive.

How do you manage your condition, emotionally and physically? I have an optimistic spirit and I don't give in. Friends and family help. Early on, I learned it was important to anticipate my future needs.

Has having ALS altered the way you look at the world? Life is mostly random, in that you can't control whether or not you get a disease like ALS. But you can control how you react to “bad luck.” I found strength I didn't know I had.

©2010 American Academy of Neurology