Fundraiser helps support Plano East coach diagnosed with ALS

A Texas high school football coach with an incurable disease calls every day a blessing. He’s finding strength in his faith, family and community.

Plano East High School football coach Gary Don Moore’s has a family history in football. His father, G.A. Moore, was one of the more successful coaches in Texas high school football.

But on and off the field last year he noticed some health problems.

“We had a throat issue for about a year. Then the football season a lot of weird things started happening – weight loss, balance – and we knew something else was going on,” Moore said.

He was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease on Dec. 18. Almost immediately a football community spanning the Metroplex jumped to help.

“We feel like in our family we’ve been so blessed. For something like this to happen, it’s been good to us for others to step in and take over,” said Carol Ann Lynn, Moore’s sister.

Over the weekend friends hosted a barbeque and fundraiser dinner for the Moore family at Celina High School. An auctioneer kept busy selling anything he could get his hands on for people willing to spend a lot of money.

“Overwhelmed by all of the people who are here. It’s been good,” Lynn said.

And while the community is helping to pay for Moore’s treatment and medical expenses, he said is putting his faith in a higher power.

“Our faith has grown stronger and we’re ready to fight it and move on and serve God,” he said.

The event raised $130,000 that will help Moore pay for a new drug that is the first drug to get FDA approval in 20 years. It costs about $150,000 a year.

At the end, he thanked everyone for their help.

“I knew it was going to be good but this has been overwhelming. So I’m trying not to think about it. If I get emotional, I won’t be able to talk,” he said. “Don’t feel sorry for me, just hang out with me. That’s all I ask. Thank you.”