Community banding together for Ben as he battles ALS

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A handful of women set up tables and move more than 200 raffle baskets into the back of the Ellwood fire hall as they’re preparing for a fundraiser for Ben Cambria.

“He’s taking the challenge head on,” said Rebecca Cambria, Ben’s mom.

She’s talking about her son and how he’s handling his fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s disease. The 20-year-old was diagnosed more than a year ago in July 2016. He recently began receiving Radicava, a treatment which reportedly slows the neurological disease’s progression.

Ben, a college junior, has been receiving support from his fraternity brothers, friends, and family.

“Ben is diagnosed with ALS but we all have it,” said Rebecca.  “Everyone has rallied together and has been super supportive.”

The support is coming from all over – Cambria saying she’s heard from people from Minnesota, to Georgia, Kenmore, Buffalo, and beyond. Thousands of dollars have been raised to help Ben.  The goal – $100,000 – is to assist the family in making modifications to their home to support Ben over time. And it’s also to help him achieve some of his dreams. His biggest one right now – traveling to California and graduating from college.

“It’s hard. He’s 20 and wants to be like every other 20-year-old,” said Rebecca.

The fundraiser is taking place Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 1-5pm at Ellwood Fire Hall located at 1000 Englewood Ave. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for college-aged kids, free for those under. There are more than 200 silent auction items ranging from TVs to trips and Bills jerseys.

“This is what Buffalo does,” said Cambria. “This is unique to any other community in the nation and it’s all about sharing the Buffalove.”

Donate and learn more about the fundraiser here


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