Italian ALS sufferer dies after meeting govt, two-day sit-in
Pennacchio part of campaign for home care24 October, 11:06
Raffaele Pennacchio, a 55-year-old doctor, was a leading member of the Comitato 16 Novembre NGO that is campaigning for sufferers to have greater access to treatment in their own homes.
"He was tired, worn out after two days of taking part in our protest for the right for home treatment for seriously disabled people," said Mariangela Lamanna, the vice president of the Comitato 16 Novembre. "The previous government (of Mario Monti) and the current one (of Premier Enrico Letta) have this death on their conscience. "They forced us to do nine sit-ins in a year and a half". ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease after a famous baseball player who was a victim, is an incurable illness in which nerves in the spine and brain that control movement gradually stop working and die. Patients in the later stages of disease may become totally paralyzed and completely lose their ability to walk, talk, eat and breathe.
There is a high rate of Lou Gehrig's Disease among former Italian soccer players.
Sufferers included ex-Fiorentina and AC Milan striker Stefano Borgonovo, who died in June.