Jefferson Humanities & Health Programs

Stop Requested: A Collection of ALS Poetry

I’m so thankful you’re here because if I lose my speech at least you will have heard and written my voice.

ALS patient regarding their story being featured
by Brittany File, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Class of 2022

Stop Requested: A Collection of ALS Poetry opens a window into the lives of 20 patients diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and their providers; detailing intimate accounts of confusion, suffering, fight, hope, and change that ALS patients experience during their disease progression.

ALS is a ruthless, unforgiving disease; it’s a diagnosis no one ever expects to hear, a journey no one ever expects to travel. This collection of poetry aims to give you a variety of perspectives of patients on that journey; to put you on that same bus that these passengers are forced to ride. A bus that you can’t get off.

Each stop on this bus is personal to each passenger, each poem is inspired by one of their stories. Between stops, clinician perspectives serve as “interludes," guiding you along this journey with their expertise and knowledge about ALS and sharing their personal experiences. This collection serves as a narrative for a population of patients, students, and communities to better understand how ALS completely reorders someone’s life.

The sadness that many patients experience is expressed throughout many of these poems. Sadness may be a theme, but it is not the whole story...

Download the Book

Stop Requested: A Collection of ALS Poetry is available free of charge; however, we hope that you would opt to make a donation to the Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center.

Please note: To capture the spirit of the printed book, it is recommended you view the PDF with “Two Page View," which can be accomplished by right-clicking on the screen and selecting “Two Pages,” or by clicking View > Page Display > Two Page View in the top bar of Adobe Acrobat.


About the Author

Brittany File began Stop Requested: A Collection of ALS Poetry as a first-year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University after graduating from Emory University where she studied ALS from the research bench. Her work has notably been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Monterey Herald. Now pursuing a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology, she plans to continue to focus her attention on the importance of empathy in medicine.

Credit: Tom Gralish, The Philadelphia Inquirer