JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – You never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. For Sharon Siegel-Cohen, one of the executive producers on The Morning Show at Channel 4, it started as something quite innocuous.
“I tripped when we were on a family vacation and had trouble with my ankle,” Sharon said. "The problem persisted for months and neither I nor my doctors could figure out what was wrong."
It took doctors some time, but they eventually figured out what was going on -- Sharon has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscles that tends to strike people between the ages of 40 and 70.
Approximately 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year -- that's more than 13 new cases a day. It's estimated there are more than 20,000 Americans living with it at any given time.
"I was in denial at first," Sharon said. “But then I decided to use my voice and fight this disease and do what I can to help find a cure.”
Since her diagnosis, raising awareness about ALS has become Sharon's mission, and her family here on The Morning Show is dedicated to helping her. Now we'd like you to join us in that mission.
On Tuesday night, Bruce, Melanie, Crystal, Richard, Vic and Elizabeth from Channel 4 will be working as celebrity servers at Brucci's Pizza near Beach Boulevard and Hodges. Sharon will be there, too.
All the money the Channel 4 team raises through tips between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. will be donated to the local ALS Society. So we hope you'll come out to say hello and support Sharon's fight against ALS.
By the way, some notable people have been diagnosed with ALS including baseball great Lou Gehrig, theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking, and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim "Catfish" Hunter.
If you’d like to learn more information about this progressive disease, just visit: http://www.alsa.org.