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Rome Reports

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Lou Gehrig's disease patients greet the pope at General Audience

If traveling to Rome is already a great challenge for all pilgrims, it is even more so for those who have an illness or have to do it in a wheelchair.  However, no obstacle has proven too difficult for this group of 100 pilgrims that traveled from Spain. They are patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, joined by their families. ELENA LUQUE Reto Todos Unidos (Spain) "The affected have had the opportunity to be close to the pope. The pope shook their hands and blessed them.â? They watched the General Audience from one of the fron rows. When the pope went to greet them, some, like Julio, had the opportunity to tell him what it is like to live with this degenerative disease. He asked the pope to intercede so that a cure is finally found. JULIO PRIEGO Lou Gehrig's disease patient "I told him about this very briefly, he listened to me carefully and said 'yes', he would do it. I think  he is goind to do it. I trust the pope. He is capable of doing it.â? Some patients worsen very quickly. Within months, they not only lose their mobility but they also lose the ability to breath independently. These pilgrims came to Rome to manifest the importance of finding a cure as soon as possible.  ELENA LUQUE Reto Todos Unidos (Spain) "They have come to Italy to show, not only the pope but the whole world the urgent need for research, because at the moment it is absolutely frozen. There is no treatment. This disease has been known for 150 years and still there is nothing. There is no cure, or any treatment, that can stop the deadly degeneration of Lou Gehrig's disease.â? Around 30,000 people in the United States are affected by this disease. They ask for more research to discover and tackle the causes and also for more aid, both economic and material, as well as support from all society. In this way, they are making themselves heard loud and clear. "Research equals solutions!â? AC/AG AA VM -PR -Up: AQ