Mr. Speaker, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is the most common cause of neurological death in Canada. About 3,000 Canadians over age 18 currently live with ALS and 80% die within two to five years. Some people die within a few months and 10% of those affected may live 10 years or more.
ALS affects the whole family. People living with ALS need expensive equipment and care, and 90% of care is provided by family members. ALS has a huge impact on informal caregivers' physical, emotional and financial resources.
This disease has touched us here in the House. Richard Wackid, the Liberal whip's chief of staff, succumbed to this terrible disease last year.
Our society is afflicted by so many of these diseases. Whether it is ALS, respiratory diseases or breast cancer, we must as Canadians do everything that we can to alleviate the suffering by providing comfort and support, not only to those who are afflicted but also to those who provide care for them.