Middlebury lacrosse alum Jim “Reills” Reilly was recently diagnosed with ALS, so his teammates and other members of the lacrosse community have started “Rally With Reills” to raise money for him and his family. Below is his story and how to support the cause.
It wasn’t until after his ALS diagnosis, sitting in the neurologist’s office, that Jimmy remembered the weak shot he took the last time he played lacrosse. Now he could see it clearly – the foreboding signal his body sent that he dismissed as an anomaly.
The shot he had taken hundreds of times before. The one that the goalie caught easily. The one that left him wondering: “Where did that weak shot come from?” Now he knew.
Jim “Reills” Reilly was diagnosed with ALS in August 2020 at the age of 54. When Jimmy first shared his ALS diagnosis with some of his old teammates, he wrote, “I don’t think I will be able to take the field with you boys again, which has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”
Jimmy’s lacrosse teammates at Middlesex and Middlebury were elevated by his mastery of the game and his unselfish commitment to his team. Anyone whoever watched him play knew they witnessed poetry in motion. Jim’s Middlebury coach Jim Grube sums it up.
“In 20 some years of coaching lacrosse, Reills stands alone as the consummate player. All who played with or against him recognized his stature.”
Upon hearing the news of Reilly’s diagnosis, Grube replied, “I believe that great teams stay together forever. The strength, persistence and guts that served you so well on the field are with you now, and your teammates have got your back.”
Here Is How You Can Help
A Jimmy Reilly family trust has been set up to collect donations to help Jimmy and his family in the immediate future. A GoFundMe effort and additional efforts are underway to identify sustained commitments over several years. You can donate to the GoFundMe here.
In addition to the GoFundMe, Relax Lacrosse USA is releasing a limited amount of Rally With Reills old school lacrosse shorts on April 2, with all proceeds going to support Jim Reilly and his family.
With your support, we can help soften the Reilly Family burden of medical treatments, equipment and caregiving expenses that are not covered by insurance. Your contribution to these causes, no matter how large or small, will mean the world to everyone who loves the man, son, father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, teammate and true friend.
The Rally With Reills Team