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My good friend and Lou Gherig's Disease

cotty16

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
I have a good friend that I went to high school with that has been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease). Although Matt June graduated two years ahead of me, we played baseball together all through little league, Babe Ruth, and HS. He was young for his class and I was older for my class. In reality we should have graduated together, both in 1991 instead of him 1990 and me 1992.
My freshman year I started at shortstop and he (his junior year) was the secondbaseman. For two years we were the double play combination winning two district titles and finishing runner up in the regionals his senior year. In fact, his senuior year we went 26-1 with our only loss to Austintown Fitch in that regional game.

We've been connected, not just on the baseball field, but off as well. We hung out together in the offseason and now I am involved with his kids. His son, Dylan, was in my class a couple years ago and now plays baseball for me. His daughter, Rachel was inmy class last year. It's been tough trying to be the rock behind them as they watch their father slowly die.

Anyway... enough about us. Here's more about Matt. Upon graduating he enlisted in the army and spent his army career in Operation Desert Storm. The ALS disease he has been diagnosed with has been directly linked to gasses used in warfare for Desert Storm (Joe can probably elaborate more on this).

It's sad that a completely healthy person has been now restricted to a wheel chair and no research is funded by our government.

Just two years ago Matt and I were playing in softball tournaments together. Now, he can't even feed himself. That is how fast this disease operates.

We had a benefit for Matt at the end of May and all of his old teamates showed up from around the country. What a display of brotherhood.

Matt's days are now numbered. He has already surpassed what the doctors gave him for his life expectancy. Below is a video from a Tampa Bay Rays game. Matt lives in Tampa now as that is the only place that does research on the east coast. However, without stem cell research a cure will probably never be found and good people like Matt will be left to fight these battles alone.

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3J8_Dhd5kjc#t=90s[/video]
 

Riverdude

The Happy Hunting Grounds Beyond
Supporting Member
10,255
115
Ashtabula, Ohio
Man I am sorry to here the news Mike. Makes each one of us appreciate life alittle bit more when you read something like this. Prayers sent.
 

Ohiosam

*Supporting Member*
10,885
166
Mahoning Co.
Pretty scary disease, one of the scariest. Prayers sent.
But don't give up hope, I had cousin that was diagnosis with myasthenia gravis as a kid. At the time there wasn't much hope but there have been advances in treatment and she has lived pretty much a normal life.
 

Fluteman

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,078
121
Southeast Ohio
Man, that really is a sad situation Cotty. It's good to see him and her making the best of the time they do have together though.
 

RedCloud

Super Moderator
Super Mod
17,107
160
Somewhere OHIO
Sucks to hear of news like this Cotty. I wish your friend and his family the best as well as future persons struck with this nasty condition.

Thoughts and prayers to you and your friend buddy.
 

jagermeister

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
17,194
187
Ohio
Gosh that's just horrible. It's such a shame that a guy like that has to go out that sort of way... I guess what they say is true, "Life's not fair." Prayers sent, buddy...
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
37,473
212
NW Ohio
Sorry to hear about this Mike. Joe wasn't in during the Persian Gulf War but might have some info. What I know about it is minimal. From my understanding, there were supposedly not any NBC attacks on us, but I am thinking this is just what they tell us. I believe the government still claims there is no such thing as "Persian Gulf Syndrome" either. Maybe they have changed their stance on this. One theory which I think is believable would be related to the moving dunes in the dessert. Basically with the wind changing the shapes of the dunes and terrain, there are pockets of crap where Saddam had used the stuff in the past. Sometimes it is buried, other times it is at the surface. Not much info on the subject from me, but this is about all I know of it. Doesn't help your friend and to be truthful, when I heard about this it was still just a theory.

Hope your friend is able to benefit from the ever advancing technology and research our health industry is working on. Sad way to leave this world. Doesn't seem fair at all.