Massachusetts Dad Makes Stop in Newport as Part of 1,600-Mile Bike Ride to Raise Money for Families Impacted by ALS
By Christian Winthrop
Jim Bruce is on a mission. The retired police officer from Northborough, MA and Ironman Triathlete is riding his bike 1600 miles from Falmouth, FL to Falmouth, MA to raise dearly need funds to help support families impacted by ALS.
It’s a mission he knows all too well.
When Bruce’s son Matthew was diagnosed with ALS in 2014, the Bruce family turned to Compassionate Care ALS (CCALAS), a nonprofit organization with a mission to support people diagnosed with ALS, their families, healthcare providers, and communities as they navigate the complexities, both physical and emotional, associated with the disease. Matt was diagnosed with a rare form of ALS not normally found in young adults when he and his family connected with the organization early on to receive support throughout their ALS journey.
“We were lost when we received the news of Matt’s diagnosis. We felt all alone,” said Bruce during a stopover in Newport, RI. “With CCALS, to know you’re not alone is really the biggest thing. They are there for as much or as little of the ALS journey that you need. It’s big to know you’re not alone.” Bruce continued.
Bruce has undertaken the herculean feat with and Diane Stokes, a fellow Ironman Triathlete and training partner, Bruce and Stokes have been making their way up the eastern seaboard staying in hotels and with friends. In Newport, they were put up for the night by Tony Lorusso and treated to dinner at Vieste Simply Italian before heading out early Friday morning for Wareham, MA.
“I love riding, and I figured it would be a way to push myself and take that pain that I’m feeling some days and just channel it into the people who are living with ALS that can’t do what I’m doing. They can’t run, they can’t ride a bicycle, they can’t walk,” Bruce said. “I’m trying to give back to a great organization that gave so much to my family.”
Matthew Bruce passed away from ALS in 2015 at the age of 26.
Jim Bruce has raised over $80,000 during his bike ride, with a goal of reaching $100,000 to help support the CCALS organization. CCALS is currently helping about a thousand families of patients with ALS.
You can donate here.