Fairport Community Supports Coach with Rare Disease
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Gary Brown was diagnosed with MSA, Multiple System Atrophy, last June. MSA is an incurable neurological disorder that affects coordination, balance, speech and other bodily functions.
"I am not going through this alone; I have a whole community behind me. It is awesome it really is that is why I live here," said Gary Brown.
Mary, Gary's wife of 21 years, is a geriatric nurse practicioner. She takes care of people with chronic diseases, so the irony she says, is that she knows what is ahead for Gary.
"There is no pill, no chemo or radiation available for this, " said Mary. "People I do not know come up to me and say what can we do for you, and my first response is just pray for us because that is what we need more than anything is a lot of prayers."
Fairport's longtime football coach, Don Santini, met Gary back in 1975. He helped form the Gary Brown Foundation for MSA.
"He said he lives here because of this great community and he has been a part of that and he has done a tremendous amount of things for many many people over the years," said Don Santini.
The Brown Foundation and Fairport Football Foundation held a fundraiser for a new ramp and porch on the Brown's home. It's become a gathering place to chat and just sit and watch.
Sunday, 150 people will tee-off to raise more money and awareness for MSA at the 15th Annual Fairport Football Alumni golf tournament. The Brown family wants to helps others living with the disease. They know each day truly is a blessing and that being in Fairport is where they need to be.
"We live each day one day at a time for today and spend a lot of time on our front porch," said Mary.