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I’m a scientist studying brain illnesses. Now I’m a lock-in, living with one of them: Lou Gehrig’s disease.

I cannot speak, walk or use my hands anymore. I am unable to move my limbs or vocalize a grunt. I communicate with my eyes, using my gaze on a specialized computer screen to write a letter at a time. I am unable to extend my neck or swallow. I drool incessantly, choking on my secretions several times a day. Deep breathing is a thing of the past. Even simple breathing is done with the help of a machine. I am a physician and a scientist and built a career studying brain diseases, and now I am living with one of the diseases that I study. I am just 40 with an amazing wife and two beautiful children.

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