When you are a young man, you feel that you are eight feet tall and bullet-proof. Throughout the years, maturity and some of realities of life prove those beliefs to be untrue.
Matt June, a proud veteran and father, was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in late December of 2009. Since then, his life and purpose have changed. Matt is now confined to a wheelchair and relies on people more than he would like to. However, he has also become a positive, outspoken individual for those that bear the same burden, enjoying every moment that he can with family and friends.
The government does not fund any research into this misunderstood and elusive disease, even though more and more cases have been identified in the United States.
On June 10, a benefit was held to raise awareness for private research in the hopes that a cure can be found and Matt can get back to thinking like he did before. Because of the generosity of the people of this Ohio Valley, I am happy to say that we were able to raise almost $5,000. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who made this a success: First and foremost, my wife Kim, Jaime Herald, Matt's mom Paula and his girlfriend Jackie for working tirelessly to put this together. It is because of their hard work and dedication that it was possible.
Thanks to the following individuals and businesses: Glen Zalenski and Zalenski's Eatery for providing the venue, 106.3 The River, Amy and TJ Burchfield, Applebee's, Arizona Diamondbacks, AutoZone, The Bavington Roadhouse, Best Western/Damon's Grill, Choice Brands, Christine Jones, The University of Colorado, Debi Mankowski, Dee Jay's, Denver Broncos, DPH, Inc., Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Finishing Touches, Ft. Steuben Mall, Giannamore's Pizza, Gil Thermes Fence, Hairway to Heaven, Heavenly Grounds, Herald-Star, Heritage Complete Home Care, Hibbett's Sports, Holiday Inn Weirton, the awesome artists at Hot Rod Tattooing, Jackie Wallis, Jamie Jackson, Jane Costlow, Kroger (Wheeling), Kathryne Wokciechowski, Lex Multimedia, LongHorn Steakhouse, Lori DiBacco, Lowe's Home Improvement, Maria (and Mama) Hamilton, MaryAnn Reese, Melissa Zink, Michelle Swickard, Mike Cottis, Mike Kraeger, Mingo Pharmacy, M-S Detailing, Wheeling Nailers, Naples, Neo Hair Designs, Paragon Foodservice, Paul and Chris Molinaro, Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Bank, Professional Tire & Alignment, Rachel Scott, Rick and Paula June, Rick's Hunting Buddies: Clarence, Terry, Dave, John, and Tommy; Scaffidi's, Spring Hills Golf Club, Stephanie Haegy, Steubenville Rifle & Pistol Club, Steubenville Umpires, Sunset BP, Suzanne Allen, SYSCO, Teresa Riffee, Trinity West Lab 50/50, Trinity West Lab Employees, Valley Wine Center, The Ville, Walmart (Steubenville), West Virginia Northern Community College, The YES Team.
If you would like to make a donation to Matt and the ALS research cause, you can do so at: community.als.net/FALSArmy. I cannot thank those involved enough for their kindness, generosity and dedication to helping. Let's keep working to strike out ALS!