I have recently been diagnosed with A.L.S., Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This is the same disease that affected the great scientist Stephen Hawking, who lived many long and productive years with it, as I plan to.
Fortunately, unlike Mr. Hawking, it only affects my tongue and throat. My clarity of speech varies depending on the time of day. Bottom line – I can speak, but I will have to ask you to listen closely.
Despite the challenges I face with speech, it is business as usual for me, Global Toy Experts, and Global Toy News. I am the same person you have always known: only smarter and more empathetic.
If you recall, Stephen Hawking used a keyboard and a computer to speak. The device would turn his written words into spoken ones. I have made several trips to Boston and have been working with the people who made his device. Thanks to technological advances, the words that come out sound just like me – pretty cool. When I need this, if I do, I will have it ready.
This diagnosis comes at the end of a year of trying to discover what makes it so hard for me to speak clearly. At first, we thought it was the result of a tooth extraction. Then we plain didn’t know. That’s where A.L.S. comes in. The only way to diagnose it is to rule out everything else.
I am currently taking two drugs that are supposed to slow down the disease’s progress. One was just approved two months ago.
My mantra has always been there is not a lot I can control in life, but I can manage a lot, and that’s what I will do. I’ll see you out there on the Toy Highway. Next stop – Nuremberg for the Spielwarenmesse.