Oakland Athletics outfielder loses mom to ALS

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The mother of Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty lost her battle to ALS on Sunday. 

Stephen Piscotty, who was born and raised in Pleasanton, wrote about the loss of his mom, Gretchen Piscotty, on the YouCaring site. 

The Piscotty family learned of the heartbreaking diagnosis last May. "We needed to prepare for the reality of what was to come, both practically and emotionally. We talked, we investigated, we read, and we rallied around my mom to ensure she was surrounded by the same love and support that she had always unconditionally offered us," wrote Piscotty.

He said neighbors, friends, colleagues and the entire community rallied around them. "Within weeks, the tasks that had fallen in priority since the diagnosis were all still being tended to. The lawn was mowed, the fridge was full, the house was cleaned, the laundry was folded, and our house was filled with the type of warmth that only friends and fond memories can bring. The outpouring of support stands as a testament to the person my mom is; not only to our family, but to so many she has touched along the way."

One of Gretchen Piscotty's close friends, Beth Sblendorio, is a nurse and dropped everything to help the family.  " She is even a part of the dedicated rotation who spend the night caring for my mom, allowing my dad (who has been working tirelessly for my mom) to catch up on his own rest at night. It’s utterly amazing to see Beth and others drop everything to be here for my mom and our family," said Stephen Piscotty.

    He says Sblendorio continues to support ALS research. She'll be raising awareness and funds to fight ALS as she runs in the Livermore Half Marathon and Boston Marathon as a tribute to  Gretchen Piscotty.

The Oakland A's released the following statement, “The Athletics organization extends its deepest condolences to the Piscotty family on the loss of Gretchen,” said Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane. “She was a devoted wife and mother, whose legacy will live on through her husband, Mike, and their sons Stephen, Austin and Nick.” 

The YouCaring site aims to raise $100,000 in memory of Gretchen Piscotty for the  ALS Therapy Development Institute. The Oakland A's will match up to $50,000.  

Learn more about donating to the effort here.