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Medical Edge: Local woman wants ALS researchers to come together

Updated: Thursday, August 21 2014, 05:03 PM EDT
ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Liz Bonis) -- The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $23 million  for ALS research.

Recently it connected Local 12 with a mom from Anderson living with this disease.  From news teams to Major League ballplayers such as Aroldis Chapman, the Ice Bucket Challenge has people talking about ALS.

Perhaps no one wants that challenge to mean more than those living with this disease.  Shortly after Local 12 had the ice bucket challenge Shirley contacted the news station.

Shirley Schmelze spoke with Local 12 through her good friend Pat Mezinskis.  She lost her voice from the disease but recalls even when diagnosed with a disease that slowly shuts down the muscles over time, Shirley decided her diagnosis wasn't a death sentence.  She decided it was a life change.

Shirley said she never dreamed that her life challenge would become a challenge to the world with the ice bucket challenge.  Now she wants a few separate organizations to work together to find a cure.

Ed Schmelze, Shirley's husband, said, "The research needs to go to a level in the forefront and probably in the stem cell area."

Shirley and her husband were grateful that she has been able to see the birth of her first grandson, Sam, who was born eight weeks ago.

Maggie Glacken, Sam's mother, said, "It's just wonderful to see her interact with him and see him smile back at her."

But Shirley said to be able to see Sam grow and thrive she needed the ice bucket challenge to raise not just millions, but billions.  Shirley is an inspiration and has raised a lot of money herself for the disease.  She hopes that will continue.

ALS at one time was called Lou Gehrig's disease.
   
CLICK HERE for the link to a local golf tournament Shirley's family hosts in October to support the cause.


Follow Liz Bonis on Twitter @lbonis1 and LIKE her on FacebookMedical Edge: Local woman wants ALS researchers to come together


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