By Samantha Schnupp
Friends, work colleagues and community members are uniting behind a White Plains resident on Thursday to help him in his battle against ALS.
Today at noon, they will make the more than three-mile walk across the pedestrian path of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge from Nyack to Tarrytown to help John Habermann. Money raised for the walk as well as through a GoFundMe page will go toward Habermann’s treatment and a fund for his wife and daughter. Habermann will be there, pushed along in his wheelchair.
The walkers will then walk back to the Rockland side to complete the afternoon.
“At first, I felt uncomfortable and overwhelmed from the amount of attention I first received,” Habermann said. “When everything started to pile up, I decided that any amount of support could really be so helpful to me and my family. It is humbling to see so many people love me and want to be able to help me. It makes me truly feel good and I couldn’t be more excited for this walk.”
Habermann, formerly a senior commercial banker with BankUnited’s National Deposit Group, retired earlier this year after his ALS diagnosis, shortly after his 64th birthday.
A devoted Yankee fan and youth softball coach, he served on the Bronx YMCA Board of Managers and on the board of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce for more than 12 years, where he figured out ways to raise funds and increase awareness about projects that would benefit many Bronx families in need of them.
Now it’s others’ turn to help Habermann in the fight against the dreaded disease. His longtime friend, Ken Meccia, said the will also raise money for research for ALS, which attacks the nervous system, weakening muscles and impacting a person’s ability to function.
“We wanted to do something for John that could really show how much he means to all of us in the community,” Meccia said. “John is such a great guy and has really touched so many peoples’ lives with his story. We, as a community, want to not only raise money to support John, but also want to raise more awareness about ALS to help with finding a cure one day.”
Donations to assist Habermann can be made through the GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/f/tvwzse-john-may-have-als-but-als-does-not-have-john.
To learn more about Habermann’s story and his fight with ALS, visit http://www.jphabs.com.