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ALS Worldwide welcomes any questions or comments you might have.  We provide free, personalized and confidential support services to anyone in the ALS community—whether you are a patient or a loved one, friend, health care professional or caregiver of someone diagnosed.

Get help now! Fill out the Online Profile Form or if you would prefer to talk with someone by email or phone first, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-608-663-0920.

For all other inquiries, please use the email form to the right and we will respond promptly to your request.Thank you.

ALS Worldwide
5808 Dawley Drive
Fitchburg, WI 53711‑7209

ALS Worldwide
February 10, 2016

Humor Is A Great Medicine

“As I continue to fight this ugly disease, joking helps me get through the most challenging times. It is critically important to keep a sense of humor when you have ALS. There are funny and absurd moments to be found every day if you are aware. Humor is what helps me stay positive and it makes this disease more bearable.”

Ken Olson, Connecticut USA
(Pictured with Steve Byer, Co-Executive Director of ALS Worldwide immediately after Ken's Diaphragm Pacer installation)

Laughter offers great benefits in times of stress and despair.  A number of scientific studies link positive effects on the body as well.  It can reduce pain, improve blood vessel function, relax muscles and stimulate the body’s immune system.  It also appears to improve memory and problem-solving abilities and spurs creativity.  And of course, it boosts feelings of wellbeing. A good laugh can put challenging circumstances in perspective, reduce depression and increase self-esteem, energy, resilience and hope. While this may sound too easy, you’d be surprised how beneficial having fun with friends and family can be.

Humor and laughter can lighten a mood and bring people together, an important message for friends wanting to stay involved and uncertain how to be helpful.  Here’s a great way to do something positive for your friend and yourself.  Stay involved, visit as often as you can and tell funny stories. Reminisce about funny experiences you both enjoyed.  And just be yourself.  Showing up is what matters most.