Tahoka Man Excited Over Attention Given To ALS on 'ER' - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/2/06

Tahoka Man Excited Over Attention Given To ALS on 'ER'

If you watched 'ER' Thursday, you know it focused on ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, and the story of a doctor suffering from that. ALS slowly robs a person of all movement, but leaves the mind clear.

Brian Keith and his family in Tahoka watched Thursday's episode 'ER' with great interest, because Brian was diagnosed with ALS 8 months ago. Keith tells NewsChannel 11 that he is very excited that this disease is getting national attention on a popular drama like 'ER'.

"I'm hoping that people will see what it's about and will understand where I'm at and where my family is at...what everybody is going through, because it isn't an easy thing," said Brian.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association says normally ALS strikes 1 in 100,000, but for some reason, there is a high incidence of the disease around here...with about 30 cases they are following in the Lubbock area.

Brian says his first symptom was a loss of movement in his right hand and that has progressed to great fatigue when he walks short distances. But one thing is more obvious when you talk to Brian Keith...his strong positive attitude. With a wife and two young children, he says he can't look at ALS as a death sentence but instead, he considers it a prescription to enjoy life.

"You just got to hope every day...wake up and take a breath. Take another step and just try to live. That's one of our mottos. Don't just ever stop, but live every day," said Brian.

Brian is the host of a chat every Wednesday night through the MDA website and he offers support to others with challenging illnesses. If you'd like to log on to that click here to look for chat. Brian chats are held Wednesday nights from 6pm to 9pm.

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