Gulfport family sells sunflower bracelets to fight ALS

GULFPORT, FL -- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is more commonly known as Lou Gherig's Disease. It attacks the body's nerves, specifically in the brain and muscles.

Jeff Arison was diagnosed in 2011.

"You lose the ability to talk, to eat, to swallow sometimes," said the 34-year-old. "Getting the diagnosis from the doctor was pretty shocking."

Not just for Jeff, but for his family, too. His sister,Andrea, watched as her brother lost control of many of the motor functions most people take for granted every day.

She wanted to help but wasn't sure how. She went online to do some research and found some answers thanks to a well-known yellow flower.

"I saw the sunflower. I saw that it was adopted as a symbol for a cure for ALS and how strong the sunflower itself is," she said. "I thought that is a good testimony of Jeff. He's always been so strong."

Andrea started making bracelets with yellow sunflower beads on them. She sells them for $10 helping to raise money for ALS research. The hope is that the Arison family can help find a cure for the disease – together.

"I have the best support system ever," said Jeff. "I couldn't ask for more."

If you would like to buy a bracelet and help support the fight against the extremely progressive disease, visit

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