Local baseball team helps man fight disease that killed his mother

Local baseball team helps man fight disease that killed his mother


by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc


Posted on April 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 11 at 11:39 PM

GASTONIA, N.C. -- A Gastonia man is planning a major fundraiser this weekend to help cure the disease that claimed the life of his mother 29 years ago.

It was Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the crippling illness known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Brad Lowe lost his mother, Hope, when she was 29.  He was just four.

"I've always said, God blessed me with a few memories of her.  I don't have a lot but I do have some," said Lowe.

Besides those memories, Lowe wanted to do more.

For the past two years he has organized yard sales to raise money to try to find a cure for ALS.  With donations from friends, neighbors and total strangers, Lowe raised $800 the first year from the sale in his front yard.

The second year he raised $3,000.

This year, the Gastonia Grizzlies baseball team is partnering with Lowe to stage the yard sale at Sims Legion Park on Sycamore Avenue in Gastonia.  All the proceeds will go the local Jim "Catfish" Hunter Chapter of the National ALS Association.

Savannah Smith, the chapter's development coordinator, said, "Typically, an ALS patient begins to lose mobility in their fingers or their hands, legs and feet and eventually and unfortunately, it leaves a person totally paralyzed."

Lowe remembers seeing that with his mother even though he was very young.

"I remember her going from cane to the walker.  To the wheelchair to the bed," Lowe said.

He hopes the yard sale Saturday will help with a cure and it will also be a way to keep the memory of his mother alive.

"At least we know that there is one day out of the year when everybody can remember her," said Lowe.

"Taking an idea like a yard sale and turning it into an event that raises thousands of dollars for this disease is just incredible," said Smith.

Donations of items can be made right up to and during the yard sale on Saturday.  The sale will begin at 7 a.m. and will feature music.  It will last until everything is sold.

The stadium is located at 100 West Sycamore Avenue in Gastonia.