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PHAALS makes dream come true PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:03 PM


DHI Correspondent

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LEIPSIC - It was the dream of Tim Kahle to possibly move to Florida after retiring from his job at Grob Systems in Bluffton.

When Kahle was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in September 2012, that all changed.

Now with the help of the PHAALS Foundation (Playing Hardball Against ALS), Kahle and his family will have the opportunity to experience that dream for approximately three months after the holiday season.


On Saturday, PHAALS Foundation President Jeff Swick and board members presented the Kahle family with a check for $2,500 to help cover costs of renting a home in Florida for three months through the Diamond Dreams Program.


Tim along with wife Lois and their children — Travis, Matt and Rachel — will depart their residence in Pandora Tuesday to head for the warmer climate of Florida. They will be renting a house in Clearwater, Fla., where Tim has some relatives living.

“We are going to Florida for three months to get out of this cold,” Tim said. “With the help of Jeff and his organization they are making this possible. I had dreamed of moving to Florida after I retired and now I will get to experience that. This is going to be a family adventure.”

Without the help of the PHAALS Foundation, Lois said Tim’s activities this winter would have been restricted due to the cold weather.

“If we were here all winter, he (Tim) would not be able to get outside at all,” Lois said. “The cold affects his hands and he is not able to deal with the cold like he used to. He doesn’t have the muscles there to protect him. It gives him something to look forward to, instead of dreading the winter.”

Tim was inducted into the PHAALS Foundation Hall of Fame last spring during a baseball game between Pandora-Gilboa and Miller City at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.

Before being presented their donation from the PHAALS Foundation, Swick had this to say about Tim:

“Tim has always been instrumental in his community, school, church and family. Since being diagnosed, he has continued to work from home for his employer, Grob Systems, as an electrical engineer. Tim always had dreamed of living in Florida when he retired. Due to his diagnosis, this dream has been challenged and this is where the assistance of family and friends come in. Tim’s wife and children have made changes to their work and school schedules so that the entire family can enjoy a warm winter in Florida, spending quality precious time together making memories that will last a lifetime. We here at the PHAALS Foundation are proud and excited to be part of fulfilling Tim’s Diamond Dream request.”

Besides the donation from the PHAALS Foundation, Grob Systems will also be making a donation to assist the family on their trip.

“This is one of our goals; to give our families somebody to reach out to,” Swick said. “We are so geared and wanting to be for the family directly. The chapters in the association are so good at doing the things on the larger scale, in terms of research and stuff like that. We want to be the funnel, that’s kind of our slogan, because there are so many little things that get bypassed when it comes to the big deal; we kind of bring that down and do things directly that we can get our hands on. The hands-on approach to the families is where we can get inside the family and say ‘What can we do for them now?’ It’s not what’s going to be done because we don’t know what’s going to happen down the road but it gives us the chance to do things like this.”

Funding for projects, such as the Diamond Dreams Program, comes from events throughout the year along with the foundations business partners, donations and volunteers. Many of these fund raising events are held at high school baseball games throughout Northwest Ohio in the spring.

“Jeff is a fantastic guy that is really doing the best for people with ALS. There are a lot of people in this area that have it. Jeff Swick is outstanding to do this stuff,” Tim said.

A second family was presented a Diamond Dreams donation in Robin and John Mower of Toledo. Robin was diagnosed with ALS in 2009.

Robin and John wanted to travel the country by RV seeing the sights, meeting other ALS patients and spreading awareness about Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Their travels took them from Toledo to Washington, D.C., to Florida to New Orleans to San Diego, Calif. They returned from that trip on December 17.

At the presentation, it was announced the PHAALS Foundation will be awarding $2,500 educational scholarships this March and they will be establishing the PHAALS Foundation Hall of Fame Research Grant that will be given to hospitals doing ALS Research.

Last Updated on Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:08 PM

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