120511chucknorrisIn 2007, 30-year-old Deanna Tedone-Gage was a young woman with a winning smile that would stand out in any crowd. She had much to be happy about. She had recently married the man of her dreams, as well as wrapped up a distinguished academic career by attaining her law degree and passing the Florida bar exam.

But as the year wore on, she progressively wasn’t feeling at all like herself. An avid runner, she began stumbling a lot, for seemingly no reason. She was having trouble descending stairs. At first, she thought it was fatigue catching up to her from her whirlwind life. Her family began to be concerned. Her father, an orthopedic surgeon, encouraged her to get a medical evaluation. Specialists were consulted.

Within two years, she found herself diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS and as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Her doctors said there wasn’t much they could do for her. She wouldn’t have long to live. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis.

“They all sang the same song,” Tedone-Gage recently recalled. “Two to five years to live and no hope.”

But her father, Vincent Tedone, wasn’t having it.

“I said to my daughter, ‘I’m not going to accept this,'” he said. “‘The body is a beautiful, beautiful organism. It can heal itself. We just need to give it what it needs.'”

So he went to work.

Through the process of trial and error, the doctor and his daughter found their way to a combination of supplements that began to scale back her symptoms. The supplements are products found in healthy individuals but lacking in ALS patients. When she took them, her trembles stopped. The cramping that caused her to wake up screaming in the middle of the night began to subside. The treatment was working. It significantly slowed the progression of Deanna’s ALS.

Now known as Deanna Protocol, the therapy consists of a number of supplements, such as AAKG, which is known to prolong cell life by providing cells with energy. The longer it takes for the cells to die the slower the disease progresses. With a slower progress, symptoms are controlled.

At one point early in the process, Dr. Tedone ran out of AAKG, and within a day, his daughter’s tremors had returned with a vengeance. Once he began the supplementation again, they subsided.

Today more than 1,000 people with ALS, as well as some individuals with other neurodegenerative diseases, have tried this protocol, according to Winning the Fight. This nonprofit organization, founded by Dr. Tedone and family members in 2010, is dedicated to developing and studying nutritional therapies and sharing their results with ALS patients around the world. It is the only nonprofit foundation in the fight against ALS whose research is based on cellular metabolism and working with substances normally found in the body. Most of the anecdotal evidence it has gathered to date shows that the treatment has slowed and, in some cases, reversed the progression of the disease.

ALS attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. These nerves control the movement of the muscles, and as they begin to die, the muscles weaken and waste away. Eventually, those with ALS die of respiratory failure.

Each year, nearly 5,600 people in the United Sates are diagnosed with ALS. According to the ALS Association, it’s estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first and only approved drug treatment for the disease in 1995. Called Riluzole, it is not a cure. It only prolongs life for those inflicted by an average of two months.

In the “Ice-Bucket Challenge,” launched by the ALS Association this past summer, people were asked to show their commitment to fighting the disease by drenching themselves with ice-cold water to raise awareness or by donating directly to the cause. The act went viral on all media platforms. Since July, the ALS Association has received more than $100 million in donations.

Awareness of ALS also has received a major boost with the release of the critically acclaimed motion picture “The Theory of Everything,” based on the life of renowned astrophysicist and ALS sufferer Stephen Hawking. The film ranks in the Top 12 in worldwide box-office returns and is an award-season favorite.

Yet with all this public attention, it can be argued that we merely know more of ALS than we really know about it.

Though the pledge is that the money will be used to fund cutting-edge research, as well as care and support to people living with the disease, don’t look for research based on cellular metabolism and working with substances normally found in the body to be part of the allotment of funding.

All traditional research currently in progress is based on finding a pharmaceutical drug to cure ALS. Meanwhile, metabolic researchers at Winning the Fight believe they have found an additional supplement that might provide a therapy that can stop the disease in its tracks.

The problem is that the supplement in question, called glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, or GOT, currently does not exist for human consumption. Significant funding is needed in order to partner with an investigational pharmacology department at a university or perhaps some other pharmaceutical entity to make and test GOT for human consumption.

If you believe, as I do, that we need to leave no stone unturned in combating this dreaded disease, then please contact Winning the Fight to find out more about this research and how you can help. Go to WinningTheFight.org.

Write to Chuck Norris with your questions about health and fitness. Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at ChuckNorrisNews.blogspot.com.

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