The Road to Boston
This year I turn 60. I am healthy and strong and am grateful that my body allows me to run. My friend Matt, an avid hockey player, would have been 60 as well. His road was different than mine. At 53, Matt was diagnosed with ALS and in Jan of 2021 he passed away.
For the past four years, I have been honored to represent CCALS at the Falmouth Road Race. For the first two years, Matt joined the CCALS family at the 5-mile mark and cheered on our “Rugged Rothwell” team with a smile. We have missed Matt’s presence the past two years, but Renier DeBeer, also diagnosed with ALS, was there to support our team as we joined forces with his two teen girls raising money for CCALS in the work they do on behalf of families navigating the ALS road. I have had the privilege to get to know Renier and his family through our CCALS connection. Their courage and compassion is inspiring and I am proud to represent Matt and Renier at the Boston Marathon this year.
I will carry Matt and Ren with me on this challenging road as I spread the word about ALS and the incredible work that Ron Hoffman and CCALS does on the behalf of those diagnosed with ALS and the people who love them. Matt and Reniers’s road has been paved with many roadblocks, and, in so many ways, much more challenging than my road to Boston.
Please join me in supporting the CCALS organization and sponsor me on the Road to Boston. I will carry your loved one with me along with Matt and Ren. I run for those who can’t run the race themselves.
I can’t do justice describing the work of CCALS. Here are words from Matt’s wife..
“Life was great and Matt enjoyed every bit of it. He had a passion for sports and loved spending time with family and friends. Matt always brought a smile to whoever he met. His positivity and laughter was contagious. He married his High School Sweetheart and over the years they had 4 wonderful children.
At 53 Matt started noticing a change in the way he was walking and losing his balance, especially when he was playing hockey. After several appointments and testing, Matt was told he had ALS. It was devastating and we honestly had no idea what was ahead in this new world we were about to encounter.
We first met Ron shortly after Matt’s diagnosis. He helped us in so many ways and introduced us to his amazing team. With a disease like ALS, changes are constantly taking place, requiring equipment to help you through your daily life. We were so grateful that CCALS would deliver equipment to us in NH. They offered Social Work and Communication support as well. There was so much unknown along this journey, yet we always felt so supported and heard by everyone at CCALS. Our wish is that Ron’s work can continue to help the many people and their families battling ALS.”
- Lauren Rothwell, Matt’s beloved wife
A note from Suzanne de Beer
We met Patti and the Rothwell’s at 2019 Falmouth road race, and we were instant friends. Our families have remained in touch and Lauren is a regular visitor to our home. Lauren and Patti have been a great role models to our daughters and inspired them to keep running for CCALS, hope it will be a yearly tradition.
CCALS help is immeasurable, from practical advice from moderations to our home, to equipment when needed, or spiritual guidance to take on ALS. CCALS is changing so many ALS patients with giving real help. Support groups are welcoming and make everyone comfortable. Nothing is ever to much to ask.
We have enjoyed and valued our family time at the Retreat, where we can just be together. These memories as they say are priceless.