Thanks to Louie Hollander, a dedicated transit police retiree who keeps the rest of us informed via e-mail newsletters, I recently received a “10-13” (Officer needs assistance) message followed by a letter from Leonard Crawford, who worked for the New York City Transit Police Department and the New York City Police Department after the merger of the two for 20 years.
He is 48 years old, and he and his wife Georgina live in Smithtown, N.Y., with their two children, Lenny, 17, and Rebecca, 13.
Recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Lenny explained the emotional and financial effects of the illness:
“ALS is a terminal disease with no known cure and a life expectancy of 2-5 yrs, from date of diagnosis. Over time, a person suffering from this disease will lose the use of their arms, hands and legs. They will lose the ability to swallow, talk and breathe.
“Many ALS patients will only be able to move their eyes to communicate. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socio-economic boundaries. The costs to families providing for a family member with ALS can be upwards of $125,000 to 150,000 a year.
“In the end, it leaves families not only grieving the loss of a family member, but at a financial loss also … On Sunday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 a.m., the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter is holding its annual Walk to Defeat ALS at Eisenhower Park. The ALS Association provides ALS centers, support groups, assistive equipment, family and patient programs, research, clinical trials and many other resources to assist the ALS community.”
For those unable to walk, Lenny asked for $5 or $10 donations in checks made out to “ALS Association Greater New York Chapter” sent to the following address:
Leonard Crawford, 12 Parnell Drive, Smithtown, N.Y. 11787