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John Goodson practiced medicine for almost 50 years at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. As a primary care physician, he saw thousands of patients and ailments, so when he struggled to raise the front of his foot in 2021, he felt a knowing dread.

“As a physician, I had made the diagnosis of a patient with ALS and developed a close relationship and followed this patient right through to his death at home,” said Goodson. “So I was very aware of ALS and its time course, its manifestations, its impact.”


Three years later, Goodson’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis symptoms are quite advanced. He has lost much of his leg and arm mobility, barely speaks above a whisper, and struggles to eat without an aide. “There are times when I have to be fed — I don’t like that. That is not who I am,” he said.

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