ALS won't stop father, coach from living life

May 25, 2011 8:50:44 PM PDT
He's a former Lower Merion Township police officer who lives in Collegeville, Montgomery County. He's a devoted dad and a coach. He also happens to have ALS and his disease is getting worse.

Gary Temoyan sits in a wheelchair, barely able to move his limbs and dying.

But it hasn't stopped him from coaching his sons, Joey and Tyler, and the Collegeville Cougars lacrosse team.

"The hardest part is not being able to physically show them how to pass, how to catch, you know, run through the drills with them, those kinds of things. That is what is tough," Temoyan said.

The former Lower Merion cop suffers from ALS, also known a Lou Gehrig's disease. It's an affliction that attacks his nerve cells.

"It's hard. I'm not going to lie to you. Every day is a struggle, but my two kids keep me going," Temoyan said.

"Just watch each month the change, and you know what's coming, and you just wonder how you're going to cope with it when it does," Gary's mother Joan said.

And while much of Gary's time has been focused on his two young sons, he's also taking time for himself, creating his own sort of bucket list.

"I got to sky dive last summer, that was an awesome experience. I took my boys on a fishing trip, deep sea, I never did a canyon tuna fishing trip before, we went on that, it was a blast," Temoyan said.

But none has given him the satisfaction of coaching these boys. He's teaching them the fundamentals of lacrosse and much more.

"He's taught them a lot about life in general and that no matter what life throws at you, you do the best you can and don't give up," assistant coach Brian Keavney said.

"I live day to day and I'm not quitting," Temoyan said.