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Northborough Police Sgt. running in son’s memory

Northborough Police Sgt. running in son’s memory

By Brad Petrishen
Published July 3, 2014

NORTHBOROUGH – When Police Sgt. Jim Bruce steps off from the starting line of the Falmouth Road Race next month, he’ll do so pushing an empty wheelchair.

For seven miles, he’ll push the chair in tribute to his son Matt, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) last spring. The pair had planned to do the race together, but the terminal disease took Matt’s life at age 26 on March 21.

“While the chair may be physically empty, I know that Matt will be with us in spirit,” said Jim Bruce, who hopes to raise $30,000 for an organization that helped the family during Matt’s illness.

“Matt touched so many people with the way that he lived, and especially the way he lived after he got ALS,” Bruce said. “Compassionate Care ALS helped Matt find some solace and dignity while he lived with ALS, and I am happy to give back to them in this way.”

Ron Hoffman, founder of Falmouth-based Compassionate Care ALS, said he’s honored to have the support of Bruce and his family.

“I felt a special connection to Matt and the entire family the very first time we met,” Hoffman said. “I’ve found them to be incredibly authentic, and I’ve been blessed to know them.”

Throughout his ordeal, Matt Bruce remained positive. His motto, “Never give up,” has inspired many of his friends, and Matt was recently posthumously honored by the Muscular Distrophy Association with an award recognizing his spirit.

Jim Bruce has raised about $13,000 for the Aug. 17 race so far. To donate to him or any other of the friends and family members running in Matt’s honor, go to and search for “Team Matt.”

Founded in 1998, Hoffman’s foundation provides logistical and emotional support to families dealing with ALS, a terminal disease that that degenerates neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

Brad Petrishen can be reached at 508-490-7463 or Follow him on Twitter @BPetrishen_MWDN.