In 2001, my friend, Mike Kosmal was diagnosed with ALS. For the past 13 years, he has lived with this disease. On September 28, 2014, I attended an ALS event in honor of Mike Kosmal. Mike and I both attended the University of Pittsburgh. Mike and his family were in attendance. It was heartwarming to see so many people attend. In speaking with his wife Amy and their children, I was overwhelmed by their positivity and their tireless efforts to ensure that Mike still maintains quality of life. I got to speak briefly with Mike, who is only able to communicate by blinking his eyelids. It was a real joy to see him smile, and engage with us. I took much away from attending.
Over 100 people attended the event. Those that attended were able to enter items for not only the main Auction but silent auction as well. All of the items were donated by family, friends and relatives of Mike. Friends who I have not seen in 20 years came from as far away as California. It was wonderful to see them again, especially Mike Long, who has known Mike Kosmal well for years. Mike and his wife Michele put long hours into making this event a success, as did many other of Mike Kosmal’s friends.
Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers such as Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, John Stallworth and Philadelphia Eagles Lesean McCoy signed items to help the cause. It was a beautiful day, not far from Heinz Field where the Steelers were playing a home game.
I hope that I can continue to help and support Mike and his family going forward. I would gladly donate my time again, regardless of distance and cost, to help support this cause.