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Dr. Ron Blank retired from 27 years of Naval service in 1998 at the age of 48.  He moved to Southern California where he became an Associate Professor and Chair of Oral Diagnosis, Radiology, and Pathology at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry.  He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis on April 11, 2001 at the age of 50.
He recalled that the first symptoms were minor weakness in the right hand and arm and occasional minor speech difficulty.  It took well over a year to arrive at that diagnosis after ruling out such things as stroke and Parkinson’s disease.  He immediately researched complimentary treatment regimens and implemented a plan.

He continued to work and teach and received the honor of Teacher of the Year in 2002.  In February of 2003, he retired and changed gears to devote his time to forming a foundation to help other people with ALS.  Dr. Blank knew how important support from family and friends can be.  He believed that there is something that ALS patients can do to lengthen and improve their quality of life – and the worst thing to do is to sit back and do nothing.  Positive mental attitude is of utmost importance.

After heroically battling ALS for over 4 years, Dr. Blank passed away on December 23, 2005 from complications due to ALS. He never gave up hope or the mission to help find a cure for this horrible disease. He will be greatly missed. ALS FORCE would like to thank everyone for the prayers, thoughts and support throughout the years - it was appreciated beyond words.

 

Dr. Blank personally witnessed unparalleled courage and fortitude demonstrated by other ALS patients.  This was and is an inspiration to everyone at ALS FORCE.  Dr. Blank hoped and prayed for a future where ALS is no longer an illness without a cure.  Until that time arrives, everyone at ALS FORCE wants to help in any way that they can to make the lives of ALS patients everywhere the best they can be.

Dr. Blank and family
Dr. Ronald Blank with his daughter, Cariann, wife, Sandy, and son, Travis.


© 2014 ALS Foundation of Research and Clinical Evaluation