SOUTH NEW BERLIN – When George and Kim Murray and their four-year-old son Trayson arrived at Yankee Stadium last week, they had originally hoped to meet a few of the players and catch a good seat for the game. Instead, they were whisked into a private suite filled with dozens of conspiring family members and most of the team’s starting lineup.
“We never thought anything of it until we were standing in front of these frosted glass doors. They asked, ‘Are you ready?’ and I thought ‘Ready for what?’ and then they opened the doors to our waiting family members, friends, and the Yankees greeting us. There were a lot of tears and hugs,” said Kim.
The surprise was organized by the ball club as part of Helping Others Persevere and Excel (HOPE) Week. The event was inspired by the belief that acts of kindness instill hope and courage – not just for the recognized family, but to all those witness to the event, to give to those in need.
The team chose to honor the family on the third day of HOPE Week at Yankee Stadium because George suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famous Yankees player who died of the disease in 1941. Three years ago, George Murray was diagnosed with ALS and told he had only three to five years to live. He is 38 years old.
The couple said they have now come to terms with the illness after a tumultuous acceptance period and have even taken steps in making the proper funeral arrangements.