Kind gesture cements lifelong friendship for man with ALS g

Al Piña saw that his friend Charles Reuss needed a new motorized chair and helped him out. (Source: CBS 5)

The friends you remember forever are people who drop everything to help when you need it most, even during the holidays.

Charles Reuss found this out when a good friend helped by making his debilitating disease a bit more easier.

Not long ago, Reuss was a spry man ready to take on retirement.

“ALS, it’s a terrible disease. I year ago I wasn’t like this,” Reuss said with hampered speech.

ALS is a motor neuron disease that is stealing his ability to walk and talk.

A motorized chair would help him get in and out of his wheelchair until the motor burned out during Christmastime.

It would take a while for support groups to help. Then his friend Al Piña stopped by for a visit.

“He's a very special friend," he said. "He is like a son to me."

Piña worked with Reuss at Abrazo Arrowhead hospital for years.

When he heard his friend was in need, he scaled back his Christmas gift plans and bought Reuss a new motorized chair.

"I saw it was a friend in need and took it upon myself," he said. "I didn’t expect any recognition.”

Piña, modest as expected, said he does not know any different and this was a teaching moment for his son to witness.

“You can’t take it with you," he said. "It’s a pleasure I got in my heart and in my soul of helping someone else”

Friends come and go, but once and a while a few stand out for doing something remarkable while expecting nothing in return.

Reuss said people like Piña don't come around that often in this world.

“More people like him, we wouldn’t have the problems we have,” he said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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