Travelers Championship helps raise money for Hospital for Specia - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Travelers Championship helps raise money for Hospital for Special Care

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

The charity benefiting from the Travelers Championship has special meaning this year.

Executive Chairman Jay Fishman announced last year he's fighting ALS and proceeds from this year's tournament will go to help find a cure.

Eyewitness News looks into how the Travelers Championship is working to give patients with ALS a special view of the tournament.

A lot has changed for Brian Savo since 2009. He said he “started with muscle cramps, leg twitching.” He said he “ignored it for some time."

When he finally went to the doctor, he was diagnosed with ALS

"It was a tough one to digest,” Savo said. “My wife was 6 months pregnant, with my second child."

This week, Savo was able to spend time with his family at the Travelers Championship. They've worked to make it possible for Savo to enjoy watching some golf.

Savo said he has “great access and view of the tournament."

Perched above the 18th green, the Hospital for Special Care has a special tent for those suffering from ALS and muscular dystrophy. They have a ventilator, food for those who can no longer chew, and wheelchairs to help patients move around.

"Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to attend the tournament,” Jeff Davis, who is fighting muscular dystrophy, said.

Davis has been fighting muscular dystrophy for more than a decade.

"Every time I go somewhere I have to think about if there's a lot of walking involved, if it's handicap accessible, because those are the places I have to just scratch off my list, there's just no way I can do it,” Davis said.

Those efforts aren't just happening here on the course. On Friday night, the championship is hosting the Bruce Edwards Foundation Benefit dinner at the Connecticut Convention Center. It alone is expected to raise more than $1.2 million dollars for the fight against ALS.

Doctors said that'll go a long way to help their research.  

"We have a research unit that does clinical trials to try to slow the progression of these diseases and ultimately find a cure for some of them,” Dr. Kevin Felice with Hospital for Special Care said.

The Hospital for Special Care is the primary beneficiary of this year's championship. The funds raised this week will help them expand their services and reach out to more patients.

"We've been kind of under the radar doing our work quietly for a long time,” Felice said. “And this just raises awareness for the diseases and care for our patients and for the program."

For a few more days, Savo said he and his family will enjoy the view above the 18th green

"We followed bubba around for 6 holes yesterday,” Savo said.

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