Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a degenerative motor neuron disorder which takes healthy, physically capable individuals and slips them into full-body paralysis. At the time of diagnosis, ALS patients are only expected to live an additional two-to-five years with the disease.
“It was a transformative moment for our family,” says Ryan Matthews, 25, son of Susan Matthews and the Executive Director of the recently established Susie Foundation, which he founded in his mother’s honor.
“We were up against it in a lot of ways and faced with, at times, seemingly insurmountable challenges,” recounts Matthews, “but we were lucky to have an incredibly supportive, loving, and dedicated network of family, friends, and community care providers to help us along the way.”
Though Susan passed away in 2011, the outpouring of love and support the Matthews family received has motivated them to continue their work in support of ALS-related research and patient-care initiatives, along with public advocacy and education efforts.
“The Susie Foundation is a family-wide brainchild that is focused on securing a future free from ALS,” says Matthews. “We have come to know ALS on a very intimate level and want to do all we can to help support the 30,000 other patients and families nation-wide currently living with the disease.”
Enlisting the help of his family, along with innumerable friends and community members, Matthews is spearheading a kickoff fundraiser for the newly organized charity. On Saturday, August 10th at the Beacon Falls Recreation Complex beginning at noon, The Susie Foundation will be hosting their First Annual Susie’s Kickball Classic, which will help raise money for The ALS Association of Connecticut.
Individuals of all ages interested in participating in this fundraiser should contact Ryan Matthews at (203) 217-4884 or TheSusieFoundation@gmail.com for additional information.
The Susie Foundation is Beacon Falls based non-profit fighting to secure a future free from ALS. They accomplish this each and every day by actively supporting research, education, advocacy, and patient-care efforts on both the local and national levels.
The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. ALSA covers all the bases — research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy — in providing help and hope to those facing the disease. The Connecticut Chapter was founded in 1988 by a group of volunteers to serve the needs of those living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and their caregivers and focuses primarily on helping local patients and families live with ALS.
This fundraiser is proudly co-sponsored by Employers Reference Source, Inc. of Prospect. Other sponsors include Wing It On Restaurant of Waterbury, Naugatuck Savings Bank, and Frankie's Family Restaurant of Waterbury.