Project aims to benefit ALS patients

As work continues on the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis lab scheduled to be flown aboard the International Space Station, science teacher Amy McCormick has come up with a pair fund-raisers to benefit patients suffering with ALS as well as the her team’s project.

One idea is “Vials of Life,” which contain patients’ medical information such as their medications, who their doctor is, primary hospital and whether or not they have a living will. The container is stored inside the patients’ refrigerators, which are tagged with a door sticker.

“When the first responders come in to save [the patient], they have been trained to recognize the sticker on the door. Or if they see the magnet on the fridge, then they’ll look inside and in the door will be this [Vial of Life],” McCormick said.

The other tool is a bracelet. Similar to the Vials of Life, the bracelets provide a digital copty of the medical records. They plug right into the computer, so that anyone could pull up their X-rays, MRIs, medications and documents.

“For instance, if they [the patient] needs to take all of their information to a new doctor, they just say ‘hey plug this into the computer’ and they can download anything,” McCormick said. “The bracelets are already selling, and are already preloaded with everything. You just need to fill it out.”

Information for up to 19 family members can fit all onto one bracelet.

McCormick voiced enthusiasm while talking about the group of patients called the Brevard Support Group.

“Now they’re like family and were going to do everything we can do to help,” she said. “They’re so excited when you show up with food, the vials, the bracelets. They love the articles in the newspaper and they love hearing about it. And they realize that somebody out there cares. They think ‘somebody came to the meeting and is going to listen to me and what I need and is going to try to help me.’”

By Ashleigh Rabel