X-File 06102015: ALS
Agent Fox Mulder, the protagonist of the cult classic TV show “The X-Files”, is on a mission born of personal tragedy. He is obsessed with hunting down UFOs in order to find answers about extraterrestrials because as a child he witnessed his sister being abducted by aliens. His search for answers is relentless even though science hasn’t caught up with his belief that “the truth is out there.” Every time he investigates a case that seems bound to result in revelation, he gleans only enough scraps of information to keep from losing faith. Is this starting to sound familiar?
Those of us who have been personally affected by ALS have a similarly dogged commitment to searching for the truth about a disease nearly as mysterious as ETs – one without a known cause or cure. The countless studies made possible by extraordinary fundraising efforts such as the Ice Bucket Challenge are providing glimpses into the shadows shrouding ALS. Sometimes I wonder, though, when the revelation I am waiting for will finally come.
Like my favorite FBI character, faith keeps me going. Many people think that you either have faith or you don’t, that believing is an ability we can’t control, like a natural talent for music or art. However, I experience faith in the dedication and brilliance of the scientists working to slay this dragon is a decision. Agent Mulder is famous for his line, “I want to believe.” Being impatient and afraid are inevitable, but letting those emotions overwhelm faith is a choice. I want to believe, and so I decide to, again and again, for as long as it takes.