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Heidi and Curtis When Curtis Vance was diagnosed with ALS in December of 1998 at the age of 25, these three letters scared him, and his girlfriend at the time, Heidi, for they knew very little about the disease. Heidi had researched ALS on the internet and in medical books. They had both heard bits and pieces from the doctors they first saw, and then were informed in more detail by the doctor that diagnosed them, but they were still confused, and torn.  Learning about the disease terrified and interested them. There were many facts about the disease they could not comprehend, and some things that they just did not want to know. They realized that from a medical point of view, the disease is fascinating, but they also knew firsthand that in the eyes of its victim, it could be horrific. Heidi, the caretaker, tended to want to know what to expect, whereas Curtis, the patient, wished to take things day by day. In retrospect, though, Curtis and Heidi both agreed that knowledge of the disease and planning ahead was important, and at the same time, keeping an open mind is essential, for with ALS, as in life in general, anything can happen. One of the Foundationís goals is to educate persons about ALS, both in general terms and by using Curtis and Heidiís experience.  It must be stressed that ALS affects everyone differently, and thus their specific experience is only used to serve as an example.