Cardinal fans show support for Stephen Piscotty, after losing his mother to ALS

ST. LOUIS - There were heavy hearts around Busch Stadium Monday night as St. Louis Cardinals fans learned of the news that Gretchen Piscotty, mother of former Cardinal outfielder Stephen Piscotty, lost her battle with ALS.

Piscotty shared his family’s battle in an emotional report ESPN aired this week.  He talked openly about crying often.

The President and CEO of the ALS Association’s St. Louis Regional Chapter said the report moved her to tears.  Maureen Barber Hill hopes the report will shed more light on the debilitating disease and generate even more efforts to find a cure.

“It totally robs a person’s ability to walk and swallow, speak and eventually breathe and you become totally paralyzed in the end,” she said.

The ALS Association credits recent fundraising efforts for what it believes are advances in understanding ALS but there is still no cure.  Barber Hill said 5 new genes have been discovered in the past four years and a recently approved drug is being prescribed for some patients.

“It can take years to develop a drug and we have people who are dying, waiting for the process of getting a drug through the pipeline and approval process,” said Barber Hill.

FOX 2 is a sponsor of the annual Walk to Defeat ALS.

The event is scheduled to take place June 23rd.