8th Grader’s Uncle Founds Organization to Help People with ALS, ( “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”)

Middle School students had a Dress Down Day to benefit Project Main Street on Friday, May 10 and raised $593.25.

Desmond Towey ’17 helped to organize the Middle School fundraiser for Project Main Street.

Project Main Street is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing direct financial relief to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) patients and their families.

“I am selling wristbands for a Dress Down day on May 10th,” Towey told the Pulse. “This is my second year organizing this fundraiser. On Friday, May 10th my uncle, Emmett Towey, and my dad, Justin Towey, are coming to hold a special Chapel about Project Main Street ALS. My dad, uncle, and their friend, Tim [Sheehy], who died from ALS in 2007, started this foundation.”

On Friday, Emmett Towey addressed Middle School Chapel. “Who knows what ALS is?” Towey asked.

“Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” a student answered, naming the New York Yankees’ great who died of the disease.

“Tim Sheehy and I were best friends since third grade,” Towey told the students. Sheehy, who built and designed stage sets, had just become a new father when he learned he had ALS. Towey described the steady muscle disintegration caused by the motor neuron disease.

”Eighty percent of people who get ALS die within the first three years,” he said. Towey told the students how difficult life became for his friend as he became increasingly disabled. Towey described carrying his friend up the stairs to his walkup apartment.

Towey set up Project Main Street (named for the main street on Roosevelt Island where he and Sheehy grew up) to help Sheehy and others affected by ALS with their daily needs, such as ramps or payment of insurance bills.

“We give 100% of the money away to people with ALS to live on a daily basis,” Towey said. He called the Middle School’s efforts “awesome.”

“Because of this tragedy in my life and my friend’s life, I wanted to make something positive happen, to give back,” Towey said. “In the end, what happens, the real meaning of life is seeing a reflection of yourself in others.”

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