Victim of ALS dies after two-day protest in Rome over home care

Oct. 24, 2013 at 1:08 PM

ROME, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- An Italian doctor who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease died at a Rome hotel after a two-day protest by advocates for home care, his colleagues said Thursday.

Raffaele Pennacchio, 55, was a leader in the Comitato 16 Novembre, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. He participated in a two-day "sit-out" outside the economy ministry and a meeting with government officials.

Pennacchio died late Wednesday.

Mariangela Lamanna, the committee's vice president, told ANSA the government has Pennacchio's death "on their conscience."

"He was tired, worn out after two days of taking part in our protest for the right for home treatment for seriously disabled people," she said.

Pennacchio suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which gets its popular name from its most famous victim, Yankees' first baseman Lou Gehrig. The disease causes nerves in the spine and brain to stop functioning.

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