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Sandra Murphy-Pak has been an artist and performer her whole life. But then the Gainesville, Florida, mother of three was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, which is also know as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
An ALS diagnosis changed Sandra's life in many significant ways, but it hasn't ended her career as an artist. Instead, it's prompting more creativity and some inspired ways of living with a progressive disease.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (3:18) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network."
Sandra's artwork has been featured in several galleries and exhibits. She also lectures medical students and health care clinicians about the role of art in healing.
Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota are certified Centers of Excellence by the ALS Association. Mayo Clinic is actively involved in ALS research.
Sandra is one of thousands of patients each year who donate tissue, fluid, cells and biological material needed for research. These donations help Mayo scientists like Dr. Tania Gendron understand the molecular origins of disease and identify genetic variations that can aid patient diagnoses. These donations also help discover potential targets for drugs.
Read more about the research and how patients can help spur the future of care for ALS.