Robert Stehlin, a patient of SLUCare neurologist Dr. Ghazala Hayat, last week presented a check for $9,000 to help fund her research of Lou Gehrig's disease, which is a degenerative neurological condition also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
|(Left to right) Ann Fann, SLU research clinical nurse; Robert Stehlin, R.A.S.C.A.L.S. Foundation; Ghazala Hayat, M.D.,director of neuromuscular and clinical neurophysiology services at SLU; and Greg Reagan, treasurer, R.A.S.C.A.L.S. Foundation. Photo by Jennifer Hasamear|
He made the presentation on behalf of the Robert A. Stehlin Campaign for ALS (R.A.S.C.A.L.S.) Foundation, along with a plaque to commemorate the check presentation.
The R.A.S.C.A.L.S. board of directors voted unanimously to donate the money to the clinic at SLU, which is the only ALS-certified clinic in the area to provide comprehensive multi-disciplinary care.
"To receive a gift such as this from a patient shows the faith and confidence this person has in the care we provide and their belief we will move this donation forward to help find a cure," said Hayat, who also is a professor of neurology.
"We have a couple of ALS research projects underway," Hayat said. "This gift will definitely go toward that research."
In 2009, Stehlin became a clinic patient of Dr. Hayat, director of neuromuscular and clinical neurophysiology services.
"Dr. Hayat showed a much higher level of patient care than I have ever known. She takes the time to explain everything in detail and help to create a level of comfort," he said.
Throughout the presentation, Stehlin praised the quality of care he received while at SLU.
"The level of compassion from each person involved in my patient care is very important to me. I believe that being able to be comfortable with my disease is the most important aspect of this care," Stehlin said.
Shortly after being diagnosed, Stehlin created the R.A.S.C.A.L.S. Foundation after discovering how little is known about the disease among both the general public and the medical research community.
"Our goal was to create an awareness about ALS," Stehlin said. "We know we can only do so much awareness and that the next step is supporting the research to find a cure."
Stehlin plans to continue raising money for research through his foundation, which also offers a scholarship to students who have been affected by ALS or have an immediate family member affected by the disease.
"I do believe a cure will be found, maybe not during my lifetime, but it will come. Researchers are now taking baby steps with treatments for slowing down the disease's progression," said Stehlin.
For more information on making a gift toward ALS research, visit giving.slu.edu.