Excelsior College Student Exudes Optimism Despite ALS

In January 2013, Excelsior Life featured Ron Miller, an Excelsior College student teaching the meaning of drive, determination and never giving up despite ALS.

Excelsior Life received an update from Miller this week. Miller recently participated in the ALS walk and raised over $4,000. His optimistic attitude still shines.

ALS Ron Miller

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrigs disease, is a degenerative neuromuscular disease that causes total paralysis of all voluntary muscles and death in 2-5 years for 90% of those diagnosed. “I am blessed to have lived with the disease since 1998,” Miller shares. “With mechanical intervention like the ventilator I use, a person can live indefinitely.  Most choose not to live because of the emotional and financial burden involved. It costs over $200,000.00 per year to care for someone with advanced ALS like me.”

Ron Miller at ALS Walk 2013

Currently there is no known cause, no treatments, and no hope for a cure. Every 90 minutes one person is diagnosed and another one dies. Our military personnel, past and present, are over 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed than the general public but anyone can get the disease.

ALS Miller

“My time as a student at Excelsior has been a great experience and has helped me inspire others.” Miller conveys, “I feel it has given me skills to help me be a better advocate for ALS awareness and I am truly grateful. I may have ALS but it does not have me.”