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Charity supplies ALS patients with free equipment

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoganl left, greets Kemal Kilicdaroglu before a meeting n Ankara, Turkey, Monday, July 25, 2016. Erdogan met Monday with leaders of the main opposition parties, Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, National Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. The meeting took place amid a government crackdown upon people suspected of links with Fethullah Gulen, a self-exiled cleric that Erdogan blames for the failed coup attempt.(Presidential Press Service, Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)

For patients with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the cost of necessary equipment can be exorbitant.

Enter the ALS Association of Arizona and the medical equipment loan closet.

“Inside that closet, we have power wheelchairs, ramps, bidets, handrails, bed rails. Everything needed as the patient progresses with the disease,” said Taryn Norely of the ALS Association of Arizona.

Norely estimated that her organization has about $70,000 worth of equipment in some patients’ homes.

ALS works slowly, affecting patients’ bodies, often leaving them paralyzed but their brain fully intact. Norely said her organization seeks to keep patients at home as long as possible.

“We have care services — a director and coordinator — and they will actually come out to your house, visit with you and assess the house,” she said. “They look at what you may need to help you get around your home. We really want to keep people independent so that they can stay at their homes and with their loved ones.”

Some ALS patients’ needs are not covered by Medicare or insurance.

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To donate to the ALS Association of Arizona, go to azals.org.

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