Local physician passes away from ALS

After over a decade of battling ALS, Michiana Physician, Faye Magneson has passed away.

Her journey with the disease became public after she created the group, "Friends for Faye" in hopes of raising money to find a cure for the disease.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, claims the lives of patients in two to five years, making Dr. Magneson's battle especially incredible.

After suffering from twitches and cramps in her legs, Dr. Magneson was given the news she had ALS in 2004. From there, she took it upon herself to try and fund research for the disease.

After she and her family created "Friends for Faye," the organization held several luncheons, golf outings and runs, raising more than $1.5 million.

Her work with the organization truly epitomized who she was as a person.

"Faye let patients know what a great doctor should be and when she retired," Dr. Jesse Hsieh said. "Patients in our community would know what it is to see a great doctor."

"She was a very compassionate individual." Dr. Steven Anderson said. "She had extreme insight and real charisma. She was able to connect with her patients in a way that every one of them felt special."

Even as her health deteriorated, Magneson continued to hold an art group in her home.

"She insisted on us meeting at her house," Vicki Toothaker said." She was determined, strong and diligent. She wouldn't rest until she took care of someone."

ALS is very rare, affecting 5,600 new Americans each year and causing only two deaths per 100,000 each year, making it extremely difficult to research. But with Dr. Magneson's help, there will be more money to help the study of the disease.

"The greatest legacy she'll leave is that she was a teacher," Dr. Hsieh said. "She not only taught students but she taught us about what made a great physician. She's helping people even now. Her legacy will last with her name, her teachings and the research being done in her name."

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