February 1st marked the fourth Brothers for Bill motorcycle ride*, benefiting patient care programs (including respite-care financial assistance from The Mike Rucker ALS Care Fund) and research at The Carolinas ALS Center at Carolinas HealthCare System.

Meet my brother, Bill. Bill was diagnosed over 9 years ago with ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. Research is being done but there is no cure for ALS.

Bill, like many other ALS patients, is on complete disability. Many patients’ incomes barely meet their financial needs – and for many, fall very short. For Bill, and others like him, professional in-home help is needed on a daily basis at private pay rates. These home health costs can be thousands of dollars a month.

—     Rhonda McWhorter & Larry Spencer

To address these needs, Rhonda and Larry, along with their families, organize a series of Brothers for Bill events that are held throughout the year. Larry’s work colleagues associated with Plant Vogtle’s Craft and Safety Committee have been instrumental in the success of these rides. Most recently, during the February 1 motorcycle ride, a motorcyclist who traveled from Tampa to participate offered Bill a ride in his sidecar (pictured above). As Rhonda recounts,

“It was the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time. We had an excellent day! Bill told us that the experience ‘made his disease go away for a while.’”

Carolinas HealthCare Foundation applauds the latest achievements of Bill and all participating riders through this ongoing fundraiser. Together, they continue to make a difference in the lives of patients at The Carolinas ALS Center at Carolinas HealthCare System.

The second Brothers for Bill Golf Tournament will be held in Augusta, Georgia on March 22, 2014. The next charity motorcycle ride is tentatively scheduled for June 7, 2014 in Augusta, GA. Details to come on www.GiveCarolinas.org in the calendar of events.

*Previous Brothers for Bill motorcycle rides have been held in Columbia, SC and Augusta, GA.