Humed Yusuf was born in Bangladesh and dreamed of moving to the US. He came to Kentucky for college and following school, explored New York, Wisconsin, and Oregon. “I think very few people are as fortunate as me, to be able to leave their home country and see the world.”
After obtaining a PhD in Physics, Humed succeeded as an engineer at Intel and contributed to the development of new microchips. Humed was then unfortunately diagnosed with ALS at the age of 34. He had to start giving up so many things, including his career at Intel. When the doctor delivered the news of his ALS diagnosis, Humed reflected, “It was like winning a very sad lottery.”
Humed has now been living with ALS for two years and he has lost many of his physical abilities, including the use of his hands. He was especially pained to lose the use of his phone – a critical tool in staying connected to his world and communicating with family and friends. Thankfully, the chapter’s Assistive Technology Services Coordinator, Ashley Loyning came to Humed’s home with a Speech-Generating Device equipped with eye-gaze technology. This device mounts to Humed’s power wheelchair and tracks his gaze, allowing him to access it hands-free – at no cost from the chapter.
This support technology enables Humed to stay connected while living with ALS: he uses it to write emails and text, communicate with his doctors, fill out financial documents, and play games like, Words with Friends. Ashley came to his home and taught him how to use it, and she continues to be a lifeline for Humed to ensure that this essential technology continues to work for him. In 2022, 32% of people living with ALS utilized our communication and technology assistance program.
Emotionally, Humed says he has been angry about his diagnosis, but knowing there is nothing he can do, he has resolved to be a ‘patient with patience’. Receiving a device that gives him back some abilities and independence completely free of charge, was vital for Humed’s quality of life in his ALS journey.