Support Sarah Cassidy in the 2019 13th Annual Valentine Plunge

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A message from Sarah Cassidy

I had the honor of first meeting Mr. King this summer. I had taken a certain fancy to his son, Adam, and was visiting his hometown in Manasquan, NJ on the weekends. Since I am so far from my own hometown in Massachusetts, visiting my second family in "Squan" became a fond routine of mine. During the summer, the King family and I would sit in their yard, his Mother Marian set up with a glass of chardonnay (3 ice cubes) and his Father Ray, with a vodka cranberry (Ketel One, only!). With ALS, energy gets depleted quickly so Mr. King made sure to save his energy for wise words, witty banter, and asking everyone about their day. Looking back, any problem I had with my day couldn't have been remotely close to his struggles, but he would listen and nod, genuinely interested in learning about me and what I was up to.

We had a couple of routines. If it wasn't a Ketel and Cran, it was a cup of coffee-- one Stevia, and a big splash of milk. It took a few times and Mr.King poking fun at me, but I eventually mastered how to screw on the travel mug top so that he could appropriately grip it.

My typical weekend morning routine changed from my quiet apartment alone in Bethlehem, to tuning into the Arsenal game with the three King men, the room erupting in euphoric cheers, pained groans, and banter between the men as to how THEY would run the Arsenal team.

As time passed, and Mr. King spent more time in his home office watching videos or reading the news on his iPad, I looked forward to my routine of walking in the front door, the dogs jumping on me, and Mr King wheeling out to say hello. Like clockwork, his attention would turn to asking me about my week.

There are many more small routines and nuances that I was able to share with Mr. King. And I hope that I start new routines with Adam, in honor of Ray. Maybe it will be picking up a book instead of the tab at the bar, or taking an extra moment to breathe in the ocean air, instead of complaining about work on Sundays.

My heart is broken for the King family. Ray is so greatly missed by an enormous community and made a greater impact in 65 years than most could ever hope to make in 100 years. I have an inexplicable, newfound appreciation for simply waking up each day, a fresh passion to live a life full of love and selflessness, and a fervent dedication to spread the word about ALS in honor of Ray.

Your support means the world to me. All donations are going to the organization that helped the King family the most, the Joan Dancy ALS Foundation.

Donors:

  • Carolyn Hall:
    💕💕💕-Shubie & Fam
  • Ed Cassidy:
    What a great way to support a great cause. Best of luck
  • Chuck Napoli:
    Great job Sarah
  • Kathleen Hunter:
    Sarah, I am so proud of you and the amazing woman you have become!! Love, Auntie Kathy