Northborough Helping Bruce Family 'Never Give Up'

A Golf Benefit For Matt is Tuesday.

Matt Bruce. Patch File Photo.
Matt Bruce. Patch File Photo.
Matt Bruce recently went fishing on Martha's Vineyard with some friends.

Tuesday, the Northborough native will go golfing with family, friends and community members.

The proceeds from the first Golf Benefit for Matt will help Bruce and his family in his fight against ALS.

Bruce, 26, a 2005 graduate of Algonquin Regional High School, was diagnosed with ALS in July.

A full field of 36 foursomes -- including Bruce and his family members -- will play at 9 a.m.  Tuesday at the Cyprian Keys Golf Course in Boylston, said Karen Pantazis, a member of the event's organizing committee. A buffet dinner will follow at 3 p.m. and is open to non-golfer guests for $40. A raffle and a silent auction will be held as well. Donations may be made by e-mailing Pantazis at bickyk29@yahoo.com.

The event primarily seeks to educate the public and raise its awareness about the disease, she said.

"As a nurse, I know exactly what his future holds for him," Pantazis said. 

"What was important to me was knowing that the medical expenses that the family is going to incur in the near future as the disease progresses, as well as the renovations that they're going to have to do to their home once Matt is to a point where he has to move back home with Mom and Dad just to make it accessible to him, and then the medical care he's going to need.

"It's a disease that does tend to progress a little bit faster when you're young like Matt is. I think that right now, everybody just wants to support Matt, join the fight with him."

Pantazis said that when Bruce was diagnosed, "a lot of his classmates really didn't know anything about ALS."

"It was kind of a shock to a lot of his classmates," she said.

Two of his classmates are on the committee "and have been unbelievable in their efforts," she noted. 

Bruce's friends "continue to bring him to the things he loves," such as fishing on Martha's Vineyard, Pantazis said.

"I think that's the hardest thing that the kids themselves have to deal with," she said. 

"They're finding that there is no cure for this. And also what is going to happen to Matt, knowing that he'll never be able to experience the things that they're going to be able to experience in their lifetime, like getting married, having children and grandchildren."

Tuesday's event is "a way for us to join Matt in his fight against ALS" and "letting people know that it can happen at a young age," Pantazis said.

Bruce will golf in a foursome with "two of his friends, and his best friend's Dad," she said. His father's foursome will include Bruce's brother A.J. and his godfather, she said. And his Mom and sister will be there offering support.

Golfers each will wear a special bracelet  "that shows their support in joining Matt in his fight," Pantazis said. The bracelets were designed by a worker at the Mercandante Funeral Home and Chapel in Worcester, where Bruce continues working as an apprentice embalmer, she said.

"We stand by the logo 'Never give up,'" Pantazis said.

"We're not going to give up."
Robert E Malone October 22, 2013 at 03:13 PM
http://www.gofundme.com/45bp1g is a link to a gofundme.com site which makes donating to Matt easy.


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