A note from Lissa Kapust, one of our social workers who helps out patients with ALS ("Lou Gehrig's Disease"). On July 4, the Red Sox joined with other Major League Baseball teams to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech. The team's management offered us one of their corporate suites for ALS patients and family members.
I wanted to let you know that the day at Fenway was magical. We filled the Red Sox Executive Box with 25 smiling patients, family members and ALS staff. The day went flawlessly; even sunny skies. The Sox loss was unfortunate, but put no damper on a fabulous day.
Some of our patients made it down to the field as Shilling read the Lou Gehrig "luckiest man alive speech". One patient was given a signed bat from a Sox player (Lugo) which he clung to throughout the game, sitting in his wheelchair, grinning from ear to ear. We had a visit from Sox management, including staff coming by with World Series trophies for our gang to pose with for Kodak moments. Wally [the team mascot] came by for photo ops and hugs. Kait Desmarais [the suite manager] and the food manager came by (and stayed for some time) to take it all in and to be sure there were no problems. The food selections were perfect with special help from the chef who prepared food that would be appropriate for the chewing/swallowing problems for some of the patients.
At the end of the game came a surprise. I went to pay for the food and was told that the Red Sox had picked up the entire tab. I tried to tip the Box attendant, and he refused.
Then the hugs and goodbyes to patients who talked about that we might be able to come back to Fenway again. Pretty hopeful for patients living with ALS.