Locals racing against ALS

Rockport team has raised $500K since founding

By Times Staff Aug 18, 2016

Jerry Trupiano and his sister Karen Nutter, pictured here, established the team Pat’s Pride to run in the Falmouth Road Race to raise money for Compassionate Care ALS, after their mother, Patricia Fears Carrico, died of the disease at the age of 64. This Aug. 21, after raising nearly a half a million dollars in 15 years, this team will retire after this final race together.

When a beloved Rockport matriarch became ill with ALS, her family members started a ripple in their quest to help her. Their journey led them to Compassionate Care ALS, an organization that helps families afflicted with the disease, which ultimately results in death.

Patricia Fears Carrico died at the age of 64 in June 2001. As the family dealt with their grief, two of her children entered the Falmouth Road Race to raise money for Compassionate Care ALS. The family team will again run the race this Sunday, Aug. 21.

Jerry Trupiano and his sister Karen Nutter established Pat’s Pride in 2001 to run in the picturesque seven-mile run from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights. Between then and now, Pat’s Pride, comprised of family and friends from Cape Ann, has raised nearly half a million dollars to help the efforts begun by Ron Hoffman, founder of Compassionate Care ALS. The nonprofit supports people diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and their families.

Hoffman jumped into action to aid this Cape Ann family, and the family has never forgotten his help.

“This was their way to display their late mother’s strength and to raise funds for the organization that helped to give our family strength,” said Jenessa Trupiano Pease, one of Carrico’s granddaughters, who this year will run the race after 14 years of cheering from the sidelines.

When Carrico was diagnosed in 1998, the family was devastated.

Daughter-in-law Anne Trupiano searched for any organization that could help the family deal with the inevitable road to death. In the age of the fledgling internet, she found out about Hoffman, who had been an ALS caregiver. At the time, he oversaw the Falmouth-based Gordon T. Heald Fund, which was renamed Compassionate Care ALS in 2003.

Carrico’s family refers to Hoffman as their “beacon of light,” and the person who helped change their perspective on the disease with his spiritual guidance.

Going out with a bang

This 44th edition of the race will be particularly poignant for Team Pat’s Pride, whose members will be among the more than 10,000 runners. The team will retire after the finish.

Jerry Trupiano is listed as the top fundraiser from last year’s race with $31,895, while Pat’s Pride was top team, having raised $70,000. So far, Jerry Trupiano and Pat’s Pride have raised the most money to date for this year’s race, too.

“Let’s make this an unforgettable year and let’s go out with a huge bang,” said Jerry Trupiano. “If anyone wants to make a donation for Compassionate Care ALS, the family is glad to be the conduit.”

The Cape Ann team this year is Krystle Arnold, Christopher Boone, Laura Garrett, David Kurzman, Grace Latraverse, Leo Latraverse, Jenessa Pease, Todd Pease, Aurumn Reed, Erin Shelton, Jeff Shelton, Andrew Trupiano, Jerrry Trupiano, Nicole Trupiano, Renee Trupiano, Tim MacDonald and Jaime MacDonald.

“The team started with two runners and has grown to 20 runners some years,” said Anne Trupiano of Rockport.

Growth and success

Carrico’s family was among the first families Hoffman worked with in his efforts to help those with ALS.

“No one has bigger hearts and it’s extraordinary to see such a close-knit family,” said Hoffman. “They reached out to me and we connected in a very beautiful way. That was early in my ALS career and we became good friends. They got what we did and asked ‘Ron, how can we help?’”

Hoffman said the Trupiano family’s support over the years has made a major impact. They supported Hoffman’s vision to to establish a place of respite, and that vision is now a reality with the CCALS Education and Retreat Center in Falmouth.

“They have been a huge part of our growth and success, and without them, things would have looked different to say the least,” said Hoffman, who has worked with more than 1,500 families. “We grew from a staff of one — me — to a staff of seven.”

He said the Falmouth Road Race is one of the top road races in the country, which attracts elite runners.

“But they offer space for nonprofits to help us raise funds. We are the No. 1 nonprofit in terms of dollars raised,” said Hoffman.

Jerry Trupiano said it has been a long journey, but it was one that bound the family together even closer.

On the occasion of this 2016 run, Jenessa Trupiano Pease wrote an open letter about her grandmother and their experience after her ALS diagnosis.

“Simple decisions were now overshadowed by the decisions of life and death. Death now being the nearer, but formidable, future. But how soon would this future unfold?” wrote Pease. “We have taken the lessons that you taught us — to endure, to grow, and to smile through the pain (no matter how hard it may seem) — and we have created this team that strives to carry on your name in the best way we know how, to help others.

“Grammy died on June 21, 2001. Our lives forever changed, by three words — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A disease still left uncured. But an organization that is also three words — Compassionate Care ALS — has helped to ease the pain felt by our families that are left floundering after the diagnosis.”

How to help

What: Pat’s Pride, a Cape Ann team running to raise money for Compassionate Care ALS.

Where: New Balance Falmouth Road Race, begins at Lawrence Junior High School, 113 Lakeview Ave. in Falmouth.

When: Sunday, Aug. 21, at 9 a.m.

How to give: Anyone wanting to do so may make out a check to CCALS — the donation is tax-deductible — and mail to Pats Pride/Trupiano’s, 20 Phillips Ave., Rockport, MA 01966.

Details: For more information, visit falmouth.ccals.org/.

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