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Our Connection with ALS

Bailey Tax & Accounting, Inc. believes in giving back to the community through organizations like the ALS Association. We have a strong connection with ALS and the ALS Association through Kevin Bailey, who passed away in January 2008 due to this horrific disease. We have been participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS to raise money and build awareness, and since our team started walking in the Walk to Defeat ALS, Kevin's ALS Warriors has raised over $150,000 for the ALS Association. We believe that people need to be aware of this debilitating and fatal disease and we will not stop our efforts until a cure has been found.

If you would like to donate to Kevin's Warriors, or walk with us, please contact a member of our office to learn how you can help!

Kevin's Story

Kevin Bailey, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on October 15th, 2002. This horrific disease slowly deteriorated his body from the strong man he once was. As his body deteriorated, his mind was always strong. Up until his death, he had still been in the office when he was able to be, and he was always a valued employee.

Saturday, January 6th 2008, Kevin Bailey and his parents, Herb & Sylvia Bailey, went to a gospel concert at a church in Lakeland. He got some phlegm caught in his throat, and he could not cough strong enough to get it from blocking his airway. His cousin who was at the concert came to do CPR until the ambulance came. He was put on a ventilator because he was unable to breath on his own. He was also put on many other drugs to keep him alive. If you talked to him and ask him to respond to you, he would move two of his fingers and would try to clench your hand at times.

The following day, he had a fever of 103 F and was unresponsive, even his pupils were not responding to light. Monday, you could see a definite change from when he came into the hospital. They did an EEG Monday and told us that it showed that he had absolutely no brain activity.

Tuesday morning, we talked to another doctor who confirmed that he was completely brain dead with a second EEG. His body, though being kept alive on life support, was already dead. Due to his living will, when he was diagnosed brain dead with no chance of recovery, the doctors were supposed to discontinue life support.

Mayo Clinic, in Jacksonville Florida, will be using Kevin's brain and spinal cord to further their research in this horrific disease called ALS which will get them one step closer to finding a cure. Also, his heart, kidneys, and liver were donated to recipients throughout Florida. In many ways, that is just one more thing that allows his legacy to live on through other people.

Kevin Bailey was said to be deceased Tuesday, January 8th, 2008. He was cremated and taken to North Carolina, which was where he had wanted to be buried. There was a viewing and service in Vero Beach, Florida, then a funeral in Drexel, North Carolina the following weekend. At just the service in Vero Beach alone, there was over 400 attendees.

If you would like to donate to Kevin's Warriors, or walk with us, please contact a member of our office to learn how you can help!

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually lead to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Yet, through it all, for the vast majority of people, their minds remain unaffected.

A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment---"No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.

As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.

What Types of Nerves Make Your Body Work Properly?
(from Living with ALS, Manual 1: What's It All About?)

The body has many kinds of nerves. There are those involved in the process of thinking, memory, and of detecting sensations (such as hot/cold, sharp/dull), and others for vision, hearing, and other bodily functions. The nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle power. Examples of voluntary movements are your making the effort to reach for the phone or step off a curb; these actions are controlled by the muscles in the arms and legs.

The heart and the digestive system are also made of muscle but a different kind, and their movements are not under voluntary control. When your heart beats or a meal is digested, it all happens automatically. Therefore, the heart and digestive system are not involved in ALS. Breathing also may seem to be involuntary. Remember, though, while you cannot stop your heart, you can hold your breath - so be aware that ALS may eventually have an impact on breathing.

Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood, the recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease.

While there is not a cure or treatment today that halts or reverses ALS, there is one FDA approved drug, Rilutek®, that modestly slows the progression of ALS as well as several other drugs in clinical trials that hold promise.

Importantly, there are significant devise and therapies that can manage the symptoms of ALS that help people maintain as much independence as possible and prolong survival. It is important to remember that ALS is a quite variable disease; no two people will have the same journey or experiences. There are medically documented cases of people in whom ALS ‘burns out,’ stops progressing or progresses at a very slow rate. No matter what your individual course or situation may be, The ALS Association and your medical team are here to help.

To learn more about the personal stories of people who are living fully, click here. As one man put it, “I’ve made ALS part of my life, not my whole life.”

The Walk to Defeat ALS - Why We Need Your Help

Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries. If you choose to walk with us, you will be a part of an exciting, empowering event for patients, family members, friends, companies and organizations across the country; all of whom are walking to support comprehensive patient service programs and leading-edge ALS research.

Whether or not you can walk with us, you can play an essential role by being a sponsor. Both walkers and donors directly impact the lives of those affected by ALS by providing the means to raise awareness and to offer the services needed to treat and defeat this disease.

Not only do proceeds from the Walk go to services that improve the day-to-day lives of ALS patients and their loved ones, but the money we fundraise is directed toward programs that look to the future. Promising research indicates that we are getting closer to finding treatment options and scientists are hopeful that a cure will one day be discovered.

Please consider walking with us or being a sponsor. With your help, we will be able to make a difference in the lives of people affected by ALS. I encourage you get your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers involved!