For Life & Love: No Ordinary Campaign” Documentary Includes Columbia Neurologist Dr. Jinsy Andrews

June 7, 2024
Jinsy A. Andrews, MD, MSc, FAAN

Jinsy A. Andrews, MD, MSc, FAAN

“For Life & Love: No Ordinary Campaign” is a profoundly moving documentary that follows amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Patient Brian Wallach and his wife, Sandra Abrevaya, as they found the nonprofit I AM ALS, and work tirelessly to mobilize and empower ALS patients to effect meaningful change among policy makers in Washington. Neuromuscular Medicine Specialist Jinsy Andrews, MD, MSc, FAAN, an associate professor and director of Neuromuscular Clinical Trials in the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, is interviewed throughout the film. Working together with Brian, Sandra, and countless others, Dr. Andrew’s expert congressional testimony was instrumental in the unanimous passage of the ACT for ALS Act that was signed into law in 2021.

“This documentary is not just about a person‘s journey before and after ALS, but harnessing the power of each individual in a disease community, which includes not only the families affected by the disease, but also researchers, clinicians, government entities, regulators, and drug companies to work together for a common goal and to make change together,” says Dr. Andrews. “The infrastructure for ALS, and many other rare and/or neurodegenerative diseases, continually needs improvement to fight against devastating outcomes. My involvement came shortly after providing congressional testimony, and in that moment, I realized that this was something big for the entire ALS community. That moment catalyzed an entire revolution in the field and changed my own perspectives professionally. I realized that not only is research and finding better treatments important, but as a physician, I can take part in many different ways through advocacy and education to change or introduce legislation that can help improve clinical care, reimbursements to clinics, improve coverage for equipment and treatment,  and increase efficiency for drug development. That is the power of this incredible documentary; it provides a playbook for others suffering from rare and intractable diseases to demand greater action and impart change.” 

Dr. Andrew’s efforts continue. Two years after the passage and funding of ACT for ALS, she recently returned to Washington to participate in a “Working to End ALS: The State of Research and Care” government panel.