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He was diagnosed with ALS. Then they changed the face of medical advocacy

Brian Wallach, an ALS patient, and his wife Sandra Abrevaya, sit together on an outdoor couch at his home in Kenilworth, Illinois, on June 15, 2023. In 2017 Wallach was diagnosed with ALS, and soon after, he and his wife, Sandra Abrevaya, founded  I AM ALS, and a telemedicine company, Synapticure. The couple met while working on former president Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 and now have two children together. Jamie Kelter Davis for NPR

On a recent crisp June night, as the Chicago Cubs prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, fans dressed in blue pack Wrigley Stadium’s famous bleachers.

Sitting in his wheelchair, 42-year-old Brian Wallach looks out over the park, rooting for a very particular outcome that has nothing to do with baseball.

He has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named for the baseball legend once dubbed the “iron horse” because of his durability, before the disease took his life.

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