Chris Thalacker's Life with ALS -- 7/15/63-7/31/19

Christopher Paul Thalacker, 56, New Canaan, CT
Chris Thalacker known fondly by the nickname "Cheese", lost his brave two-year battle to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) on July 31, 2019. His lifelong motto was 'Tour For Life' and he lived it full-on with passion, laughter, joy and music. Born in Bronxville, New York; he was the Captain of the Bronxville High School football team, and played football for Lehigh University. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Lehigh, Chris entered the world of financial management, working for Shearson Lehman, Citigroup, Alta Partners and most recently was a First Vice President for Morgan Stanley. He built a business with clientele that became friends and extended family. Chris married another Bronxville High School alumni who has been his Tour For Life partner for 26 years. They have three amazing children, all high school athletes and enthusiastic supporters of life and music.
An avid outdoorsman, you could find him grilling, golfing, bird hunting, fishing, sailing, skiing, hiking and camping. He had special relationships with the bands Grateful Dead, Phish, String Cheese, Twiddle and Government Mule.

Thousands rallied beside Chris as he battled this disease. He was humbled and appreciative of all the love and support he received from friends, family, musicians and the ALS Association.

Chris is survived by his wife Peyton; his children Graham (24), Gwyneth (20) and Brooke (16); his mother Rita; his brothers Marc and Robert; his mother-in-law Arlene Warwick and sister-in-law Pamela Warwick; and innumerable friends who supported him on his journey through life.

A service will be held on September 21, 4:00 p.m. at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, followed by a reception at Siwanoy Country Club. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Thalacker Family Fund Go Fund Me page (https://www.gofundme.com/chris-thalacker039s-life-with-als) or Compassionate Care ALS. 



February 27, 2018
In July of 2017, I received the life altering diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is insidious, robbing its victims of the ability to walk, dress themselves, talk, swallow, and ultimately breathe. All while leaving the mind perfectly intact. Already, I’ve lost all use of my left arm and approximately 60% of my right.

 
ALS has no cure and no effective treatment. The average lifespan from diagnosis is three to five years. I’m not sure what my journey will bring because every individual’s experience with ALS is different, meaning there are a lot of unknowns for me and my family. What I do know is that I’m focused on doing everything I can to fight this disease and delay its progression into the more debilitating stages. As many know, I have a passion for life. So as difficult and sad as this diagnosis is, I remain positive and gather my strength from the outpouring of love and well-wishes from my family and friends.

I’m an outdoors enthusiast and enjoy many activities like fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, skiing and golf. I played football in high school (team captain) and college and have always been passionate about sports. I love live music and have been known to enjoy a concert from time to time. Even though ALS has limited my activities, I continue to find ways to enjoy life by surrounding myself with friends and family. My faith and positive outlook allow me to take it “One Day at a Time” and live one of my favorite mottos “Tour for Life”.

On this journey, my family will face extraordinary medical and incidental expenses. ALS treatment is not covered by insurance and estimates for medical costs alone range from $200,000-$300,000 each year, covering ventilation, feeding tubes and in-home care. Additional large expenses may include moving to a new home with greater accessibility, wheelchairs, lifts, a specialized van, long-term clinical trials, aides/in-home nursing and technological devices to offset muscle paralysis. No one knows how long my fight will last, but I’m assuming I’ll battle longer than the average person, and I plan to be here for another 10+ years. Unfortunately, this will leave a tremendous financial burden on me and my family.

My wife Peyton and I have three children, and while they may receive some financial aid for college due to my diagnosis, it’s likely that we will still face over $250,000 in additional expenses to finance their educations. It pains me think I will be placing such a burden on them.

Peyton and I have dedicated our lives to raising our family and giving whatever possible to the community in New Canaan, CT. I have coached my children in various youth sports (football and soccer) and worked with local charities including Special Olympics, American Cancer Society and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

For those of you who are able to donate and help us face this growing mountain of expenses, we are deeply grateful. Your contributions are helping me to face this sad and difficult disease with dignity and pride.

With love and peace,

Chris “Cheese”, Peyton, Graham, Gwen and Brooke.

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 5 mos
  • Blair Keller 
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Daniel DePalma 
    • $200 
    • 8 mos
  • Aimee and Doug Mueller 
    • $500 
    • 8 mos
  • Marcy & Hunter Smith 
    • $500 
    • 8 mos
See all

Organizer

W Scott Horton 
Organizer
New Canaan, CT
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