On April 21st, I will be running in the 118th Boston Marathon in order to raise money for Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS). Although I only have only a short time to train for this event, I am beyond excited and completely honored for this opportunity to run in celebration of the life of my uncle Wayne, who lost his life to ALS earlier this year.
Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative and fatal neuromuscular disease that affects more than 30,000 Americans. There is currently no known cure for it. While developments in medical technology and pharmacological research have lengthened the life expectancy of those diagnosed, the financial and emotional burdens faced by families dealing with this disease are daunting. My uncle Wayne and my aunt Eileen were blessed to have the support of CCALS, which supported them throughout his battle with ALS, providing medical equipment, emotional support, and the means to fight this terrible disease under his own terms and in his own home.
Wayne’s compassion, his unwavering attitude, and no-BS nature was (and still is) inspiration to his friends and family. Having worked as an occupational therapist for over 15 years, Wayne understood that people with diseases or illnesses often require a specific course of care to remedy or alleviate symptoms associated with their ailments. While he was ill, he told me stories about the (sometimes wild) lengths to which he used to have to go just to obtain basic equipment for those who had no mobility and even less hope. Wayne chose this profession because it was incredibly fulfilling to assist and interact with those in need, and he was perfect for it because he was headstrong and had a no-BS attitude, for which we all loved him. There was nobody he was scared to confront, and nobody he would accept “no” from, if it meant preventing him from getting his job done.
Though Wayne has gone on to a better place and we all miss him very much, we are honored to give back to the organization that helped our family so much for the past several years, CCALS. Ron Hoffman and the CCALS team have been there for Wayne’s family every step of the way, and the very least I can do is “pay it forward.” Not everyone has the amazing network of family and friends that Wayne has, but everyone afflicted with this terrible disease needs a level of care and assistance that CCALS in uniquely prepared to deliver.
Living with ALS is like running a marathon each and every day. The least I can do is run it once and raise awareness and funds to hopefully benefit others faced with this.
Special thanks to the family of Matt Bruce for helping to make this run possible.
Andrew good luck - drink lots of water. Great job marketing this – I bet lots of people would pay to get your dad to shut-up......
– David Underwood
Go, Andrew, Go!
– Eileen Harris
Good luck and keep up the good work for such a worthwhile cause!
In honor of our dear friend David Garber
– The Coran Family
Good luck in the marathon and raising money, Andy!
– James Miceli
Andrew, I'm Rich Mitchell's girlfriend. He told me you were running for CCALS.
I know about the great work they do and often support them. My grandfather
died of ALS. Thanks for running for a great cause!
– Susan Davis
Best of luck to you and thanks for carrying on for the cause.
– William Bailot
In Memory of Elizabeth Ferreira
– Kenneth Ferreira