WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A fundraising event was held at Stanley Park in Westfield on Sunday for a friend and neighbor recently diagnosed with an incurable disease.
33-year-old Eric Roy, is living with ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s disease, a fatal neuro-muscular ailment for which there is no known cure.
On Sunday afternoon, some 150 friends and admirers took a walk through Stanley Park and gathered at the pavilion on behalf of Eric Roy, a Westfield school employee. COVID-19 precautions prevented many more from joining Eric Roy’s supporters on this fundraising journey to help him pay his medical bills as he fights for his life.
“We created a Go Fund Me, especially during COVID, when we couldn’t have a big event yet, just to get some funding for him. There are endless costs to ALS between medications, potential treatments even though none are approved by the FDA. But the different applications at home, home renovations, home care, there’s endless costs with ALS,” Samantha Haugue, the organizer of the event said.
Through go fund me and the money raised at Stanley park, friends of Eric Roy have so far accumulated more than $75,000 on his behalf. There’s a good reason those who care about him held a high profile event such as this to raise public awareness about their friend’s uncertain future.
“Today is not only about raising money but about raising awareness. Some people know about ALS but we wanted to put a face to the story and a face to that diagnosis,” Haugue said.
Based on their deep feelings for ALS patient Eric Roy, we can only speculate had there not been COVID-19 crowd size limitations, how many more would have come to Stanley park on behalf of their good friend?