By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - A spaghetti feed fundraiser nearly runs out of food after an awe-inspiring turnout for a local man dying with an incurable disease.
The 46-year-old father of four said he and his family expected about 1,000 people at Sunday's event.
Only half way through the day, they more than doubled that number. He said he's overwhelmed by the amount of support. "The support is just unbelievable. It's very touching to my heart," Tim Cacioppo said.
He was diagnosed last year with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Doctors told him he was going to die and that he only had a maximum of five years left to live. At the time he had already been experiencing the symptoms for over two years. "It's hard to know that I won't have him in maybe two or three years," son Salvatore Cacioppo said.
Doctors said Tim's disease is progressing slowly, but he said he can still feel it. He has trouble swallowing, he can't breathe when he sleeps, his bones are getting weaker, and certain muscles including his speech are disappearing. "It's very hard, especially when I see his body, his arms, the muscles…you can see the muscles are wasting away and it's very difficult to see that," wife Natalie Cacioppo said.
Even his youngest daughter, Anna, has noticed a difference. "He's still like he is, but it's very hard to like see what he has been changing about."
"I'm fighting thru it and I'm doing pretty good. I still play hockey at this point, I still coach all my kids in sports and keep trying to do as much as I can while I can," Tim said.
And when it comes to his four kids…"I try to teach them as much as I can right now. I even have a video cookbook for them so they can learn how to cook someday."
"I'm probably going to do the cooking," son Sebastian Cacioppo said.
"They'll never have cooking like they have with him now and I just hope they can replicate that," Natalie said.
Making every moment count in the time he has left. "My dad's a really kind, gentle guy and he's awesome and a really good dad and he doesn't deserve this," son Vincent Cacioppo said.
"It is frustrating but I try not to let it get to me too much. I try to live every day as another day."
Currently there is no cure for ALS and while the family is accepting donations, they encourage anyone that wants to support to attend the ALS walk at the end of April.
A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo bank to help the family with the overwhelming medical bills.
If you would like to support them, you can stop by any Wells Fargo location and donate money to the Tim Cacioppo ALS benefit.
Can't find something?