San Jose resident Gloria Hale is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). More commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS is a terminal illness that affects the motor neurons, gradually robbing the body of its ability to independently move, speak, eat, or breathe. Dependent upon a wheelchair for mobility, Hale has lost much of her body's movement and speech.
There is no effective treatment for ALS. There is no cure.
In an effort to raise awareness of this disease -- as well as funds for ALS Therapy Development Institute -- Hale organized a skydiving fundraiser, jumping from an airplane 13,000 feet in the sky along with fellow Bay Area ALS patient Juri Kameda and eight of their friends and family.
Here, Hale prepares for her jump, suited up and surrounded by friends and family. Written on her face in red is "KISS MY ALS."
Photo by Jessica Shirley-Donnelly, JRSD Photography