We woke this morning to the news that Professor Stephen Hawking has died, and add our voices to the great many that are mourning his passing. While ALS did not define Professor Hawking, he lived with it for more than 50 years and was active in raising awareness for the disease while at the same time inspiring us all by what he was able to accomplish as one of the greatest minds of our time. This is a difficult loss for the ALS community; we send our condolences to Professor Hawking’s loved ones as we continue to reflect on his many accomplishments.

His journey with ALS emphasizes the complexity of the disease and the need to better understand how some few people can live so long with the disease. Examples like Dr. Hawking’s experience help us to believe that we can find treatments to augment the body’s resistance to the disease.

He was also an inspiration to people with ALS everywhere on how one can continue to communicate with advances in assistive technology and achieve tremendous things despite the diagnosis.

Photo credit: Motor Neurone Disease Association

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