Last year, at The Amaz!ng Meeting 7, I met a young skeptic who went by the handle Nobby Nobbs on the fora. His real name is Michael Strieb, and he has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. This is the same condition Stephen Hawking has.
In Michael’s case it confined him to a wheelchair and at TAM it was very difficult for him to speak. I just read from Rebecca at Skepchick that his condition has progressed, and now it’s impossible for him to talk. His mind is healthy and sharp, but his body is making it extremely difficult to communicate.
Because of this, a group has set up a page where people can donate so that they can buy Michael an Eye Gaze System, an incredibly cool setup where a machine can measure where his eye is pointing, and use that to guide a cursor on a computer screen, allowing Michael to once again communicate. The device costs about $3200.
Update: Someone who knows Michael has let me know that this is not the only source of their financial need. As you can imagine, his situation can put a strain on anyone’s budget. So please give what you can, and help out a guy – and his family – who could use a little relief.
Michael’s one of the good guys. I just sent in my donation, so please, if you can, help him out.