In November, Valley real estate pro Eric Weinbrenner was diagnosed with ALS. As a way to relax post-diagnosis, he turned to painting—and eventually focused on this beloved pastime as a jumping-off point for helping others in the ALS community by forming Paint For A Cure.
Only a few months after his diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the Valley’s Eric Weinbrenner has made it his mission to help others facing the same illness, which is a fatal neurodegenerative disease in which a person’s brain loses connection with the muscles. In addition to losing the ability to walk and talk, patients eventually lose their ability to breathe. “There is still no cure or treatment for ALS, and it has been over 130 years,” says Eric.
As if the diagnosis wasn’t heartbreaking enough, Eric realized that the financial burden for many patients makes the situation that much worse. “Being diagnosed with ALS is a big punch in the face as it is,” he says. “I can’t imagine not being able to support my family. Your most voluntary muscles will be paralyzed and [you have] no ability to speak. With that said, you will be unable to work and provide for your family.”
With the desire to cure the financial burden that ALS brings upon families, Eric founded Paint For A Cure. The Phoenix-based nonprofit combines his love of painting, which he turned to as a way to relax post-diagnosis, and his desire to help others. “Since I was diagnosed, painting seemed to be the only thing that would take my mind off of the disease. It is very therapeutic and calming.” He continues, “That’s where Paint For A Cure comes into play and helping those families. [It] makes me happy and is something positive to focus on.” Most recently, Paint For A Cure hosted a tie-dye event via Zoom.
In June, Paint For A Cure raised $50,000 through donations and fundraising efforts. The funds will help provide medically accessible housing and mortgage/rent payments, among other things, to families facing ALS.
How can you help? One-hundred percent of any donation to Paint for a Cure will go to helping families affected by ALS.