Don’s Story

Site created on January 18, 2021

Do you believe in miracles?  On October 16th, 2020 at the age of 49,  our beloved Don Reilly was given the unimaginable diagnosis of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Him and his family and friends were told an unfair prognosis and sent on their way. Every hope and dream of the future flashed through their minds and they immediately started to mourn all the things that may never be. This disease is unforgiving. It is a motor neuron disease that gradually robs the person of their life.  It was just so hard to believe, so unfair.  Don has always been committed to living an active lifestyle. He is an avid cyclist who enjoys a challenge.  He loves running, working out, skiing, playing tennis and golf and of course a fierce drummer for the band CROWE that he is a founding member of. He is also the most amazing Dad to his three girls; Katie 19, Lauren 16 and Jocelyn 6.  Whether it's teaching his girls how to ride a bike, downhill ski or to learn how to skate, Don has always been an active Dad with his kids.  So, the question that crosses our mind is…..Why?  
Which brings us to a story of love, hope and faith.  In 2014 Don and his family faced another traumatic moment in their lives when they lost their son William who was stillborn.  Even though they were broken by their loss they never gave up hope on one day having a baby. A few months after losing William to their surprise they found out they were expecting.  Unfortunately, they were once again faced with the unimaginable,  when Carolyn  went into preterm labor and on December 24th 2014 their daughter Jocelyn was born just shy of 25 weeks.  Although the doctors gave them some tough odds they  refused to give up hope.  Over the course of 115 days while their baby fought for her life in the NICU, through brain bleeds, blood transfusions, infections, they never stopped believing that one day they would bring their healthy baby home.  Now six years later Jocelyn is perfect in every way.   Anyone who knows Don knows that he is a fighter.  Through his stubborn will, focused mind and strong discipline, he intends to do everything in his power to heal his body.   REILLY HEALS is our vision for life.  We need your help so Don can win this fight against ALS. With the support of his friends and family we’ve created a GoFundMe Campaign REILLY HEALS to help raise the funds required to support Don and Carolyn as they face not only this devastating diagnosis, but the massive financial burden that comes with it.  From renovating their home, so Don can safely live there for as long as possible, to purchasing specialized equipment he needs, to accessing current breakthrough medications, the costs are enormous.  You can find the GoFundMe Campaign on this site under "Ways to help" in the menu bar. "Ways to Help"  also includes other ways to support the family.   For all of you who will follow in Don's healing journey,  we ask that you first say a prayer for Don and his family.  We then ask that you close your eyes and envision a memory you have of Don,  whether it's watching him ride away on his motorbike or challenging him in a tennis match, maybe it's playing a round of golf.  Whatever memory that you have please keep the faith in your heart and minds that one day you will be able to enjoy that moment with Don again. We will never give up and we will never lose hope.....because we believe in miracles.  

Newest Update

Journal entry by Rich Todd

Friends,

Despite the efforts and optimism of Don's family and supporters and despite Don's inspiring courage and strength he lost his battle with ALS on Saturday evening (August 7, 2021).  The family continues to be humbled by the tremendous love and support they have received over the last several months.    Details regarding the visitation and service will be be posted later this week. 

Much love,

Richard 
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