Two years ago the Dutch ALS Foundation (ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in North America) started a bold advertising campaign to call attention to the disease.
The campaign consists of portraits of ALS sufferers on posters and in videos. New ads are released only after the model has died. The caption printed on the posters, “ik ben inmiddels overleden”, means “by now I have died”.
In 2010 the foundation made portraits of 9 patients which it expects to distribute in the next few years. It generally takes 3 to 5 years from the onset of the first ALS symptoms to the death of a patient. In 2011 the campaign kicked off after two patients had died, a woman called Conny Deenik and former hockey player and Olympian Theodoor Doyer (photo).
There is no cure for ALS. The disease causes nerves to die, after which the respiratory system breaks down.