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Despite illness, Lynnfield fan keeps his Sox on

LYNNFIELD – Philip Anderson is a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox.With a career as an engineer at GE, Anderson, 51, a resident of Lynnfield, managed to successfully balance his personal life, career and the all-important Red Sox schedule until his life was drastically changed last year.Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig?s disease, the illness affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and has since robbed Anderson of his ability to speak and function on his own.Despite his illness, Anderson has remained strong in spirit according to his wife, Mary, who said his love of the Red Sox has yet to falter.?He?s just a tremendous fan and we used to go to at least one game a year before,” she said. “Every day he has more and more Red Sox stuff in his room. It?s stuffed.”As a patient of All Care Hospice, Anderson recently met Medical Director Dr. Lewis Hays, who he asked what the likelihood of attending one more game at Fenway Park would be.Struck by Anderson?s desire to experience the sights, sounds and excitement of the ballpark again, Hays immediately got on the phone to make Anderson?s wish come true.After contacting the Boston Red Sox?s Community Relations Department and Curt?s Pitch for ALS (Sox Pitcher Curt Shilling), both organizations were happy to help and secured tickets to a game on Sept. 12 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.By coincidence, Mary said Anderson?s friends at GE also offered four premium box seats to the same game.However, on the day of the game, Mary said her husband went into respiratory distress and it appeared as though he would die before he made it to the ballpark one last time.Hays rallied around Anderson and told him that he would do anything he could to get him to the game, which Mary said ultimately helped pull her husband through.?I swear that game saved his life,” she said. “It gave him something to live for.”After encountering traffic on the way to game, which caused Anderson to miss the Red Sox batting practice, Mary said immediate members of Anderson?s family, including son, Philip and daughter Kristin, were able to attend the game with his sister, niece, Erin and Dr. Hays.Anderson sat on the field with his family during the Devil Rays batting practice, in which first baseman and Haverhill resident, Carlos Pena took photographs with the family.?The game itself was great, but watching Phil looking at the team in awe was just amazing,” she said. he just loves it.”Mary said she and her husband are thankful they were able to attend the game with their children and have lasting memories of the crisp fall day.?It was a unique day, a roller coaster day, but we made it there,” she said.

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