San Antonio nurse helps patients live with ALS

SAN ANTONIO – At a University of Texas Health Science Center clinic there is a team of doctors, nurses and therapists who have been helping patients and their families live with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Researcher and nurse Pamela Kittrell, who has been managing the clinic for the last six years, said working with these patients has hit close to home.

"I had grown up with a number of people that were disabled in my family from neuromuscular disease," said Kittrell. "And my cousin had just been diagnosed with ALS and I had an uncle with ALS, so I was pretty familiar with the impact."

Kittrell cares for about 200 ALS patients.

"I have really grown to love this job and the people that I work with, my patients, their families, they become family to you and become such a part of your life," said Kittrell.

Kittrell said her mother was in a wheelchair from multiple sclerosis by the time she was 11 years old and back then, there were not a whole lot of options for her family.

Kittrell said through the help of the ALS Association, they can now also help their patients financially.

"Being able to provide things like manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs and other kinds of equipment. That's an incredible gift to be able to offer to our families," she said.

The ALS Association does offer assistance to patients and families in a variety of ways and the association's main fundraiser is coming up this month.

The Walk to Defeat ALS is scheduled for Oct. 25 at San Pedro Springs Park.

All of the money raised goes to the Texas chapter of ALS Association and helps fund patient care in San Antonio and Texas.

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