Mandeville rallies around proffer manager struck by ALS disease: Musings by …

February 27, 2015 - als

Over a past several years, many of us in South Louisiana, and via a country, have turn informed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and have assimilated in a quarrel opposite a life-threatening and harmful disease.

Much of a recognition is due to final year’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” and by New Orleans’ former New Orleans Saints standout Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. Now, unfortunately, it has strike even closer to home, and St. Tammany residents are fast entrance to a assist of a much-loved family in Mandeville.

Kevin Thames and his wife, Julie, listened a totally astonishing and strenuous news in Jun 2013, a same month of their 26th marriage anniversary. Julie pronounced “it never crossed a minds that this could be what was wrong with him…when a neurologist pronounced he suspicion (Kevin) has ALS we were in finish shock.”

 Her father was experiencing debility in his right palm and was sent to an orthopedic doctor. His alloy afterwards had a neurologist control haughtiness testing, and an MRI was scheduled.  When a integrate listened a final diagnosis — one that they had never even deliberate — they were devastated.

Former high propagandize sweethearts and locals of Clinton, Mississippi, a Thames have had most to understanding with during a past dual years, though a support from a village has been heartwarming.

“We have been impressed with thankfulness by a series of friends and family that are charity their prayers and support,” Julie said. Close friends now have a fish grill scheduled to equivalent medical losses and to yield much-needed special apparatus for Kevin. Others have set adult an comment for a Thames family during Regions Bank, and even another crony combined a page for a family on

“We are truly beholden and shamed by a escape of support that we have perceived by a website and by a fundraiser (fish fry) that Kellie (Windom) has headed up. We are so advantageous to have such amatory friends peaceful to mount beside us by this journey,” Julie said.

Julie Thames remarkable that Kevin has been an active member of a Covington/Mandeville village for many years, and he has perceived support from an strenuous series of people he has worked with, children he has coached, and friends from their church.

“We are members of First Baptist Covington. Kevin has been concerned in Preschool, Children’s and Youth Ministry there, portion as a children’s ceremony personality and Sunday propagandize clergyman for many years,” Julie explained.

Her father has also been intensely active in area schools. Kevin was boss of a Monteleone Athletic Booster Club, served as a proffer manager during a youth high and was also named as a Volunteer of a Year. He helped to found Lakeshore’s Titan Athletic Booster Club and a Titan Touchdown Club.  He also served as boss of both of a clubs and as a proffer football coach.

Due to his illness, Kevin, who worked in a grill attention for 25 years, is no longer means to do many of a things that he has always enjoyed, his mother noted. He still, however, treasures a moments he spends with their 3 children: Conner, Tyler and Anna Kathryn.

Kevin also continues to find good wish and comfort in God. “Our strength and wish comes from God, though whom we would be lost. We know a existence of this disease, and while we are formulation for that existence we have selected to trust in God’s devise for us. We provide any day as present and try tough not to let a worry of tomorrow sack us of a fun we have today,” Julie explained.

Efforts to assistance Kevin in his quarrel opposite ALS embody a appropriation site during www.gofundme/kevinthames, combined by Tracy Matamoros. Matamoros, a Mandeville proprietor and area Zumba instructor, had listened about a appropriation website and motionless to “set up” an comment for Kevin.  She pronounced that after creation a page, Matamoros fell into fundraising mode and sent emails to usually about everybody she knew.

“I am vacant and so beholden with a income people have donated so far.  I adore fundraising for people we know who are in need.  I don’t caring for giving to  large organizations so much.  I would rather give to my friends or village members in need; we should take caring of a own,” Matamoros explained.

One of a artistic minds (and outrageous hearts) behind a arriving fish grill is St. Tammany proprietor Kellie Windom.  The pickup site for a eventuality on Mar 20 is Mandeville Middle School, located during 2525 Soult Street in Mandeville. The tickets, that are $9 for boiled fish, french fries, cole slaw, and dessert, are pre-order usually and most be purchased by Mar 10. For information on purchasing tickets and pick-up instructions, hit Kellie Windom by emailing

Donations can be done during any Regions Bank by a Caring for Kevin Thames Benefit Account.

On a personal note, we do not know Kevin well, though we see his wife’s amatory and smiling face each morning during work.  One would never know a troubles her family faces or a unhappiness they have experienced; her strength and bravery is overwhelming. She is an extraordinary lady and, from what we have been told, her whole family shines usually as splendid as Julie does.

There is no consternation because St. Tammany residents wish to convene around their own.  Like Gleason, we are not giving up…No White Flags.

Contact Marilou Horton during 985.778.6744 or

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