Walpole rallies around beloved sports photographer diagnosed with ALS

Walpole rallies around beloved sports photographer diagnosed with ALS

WALPOLE, Mass. — A Walpole sports photographer diagnosed with ALS is receiving an outpouring of support from the many families whose pictures he has taken over the years.

Tim Hoffman, 54, a freelance photographer, has been capturing memories of Walpole High School athletes since 2012.

In December, after a fall, Hoffman was diagnosed with the incurable, neurodegenerative disease. He was treated at a Boston hospital and a rehab before returning home to his Walpole apartment.

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This week, a member of the community created a GoFundMe account, urging others in Walpole to help out “a fixture in Walpole sports,” by donating money to cover Hoffman’s medical bills and future needs.

Within two days, more than $14,000 had been raised.

“It certainly is difficult, because I don’t have family here. But I kind of have some Walpole family that care about me,” Hoffman told Boston 25 News Wednesday. “I am extremely touched by this, and I will never forget it. You’re all in my heart and soul for doing this.”

ALS has limited Hoffman’s mobility and his voice, but the devastating disease has not taken his passion for photography.

His brother, Dan Hoffman, who arrived from his home in Pennsylvania to help take care of Tim, said he met the woman who started the online fundraiser and shared the appreciation so many Walpole families have for Tim’s work.

“She said that [Tim] has given them memories of their children for years and years and years, and they want to help pay him back,” Dan said.

The donations have brought tears to Dan’s eyes and comfort in knowing his brother has the support of the town of Walpole.

“People in Walpole, just from what I’m seeing, it’s just been amazing how generous people are around here,” Dan said. “It’s unreal. I’ve never seen this before.”

Tim had held another part-time job but was laid off in October, his brother said. The funds that are raised will be very helpful as he pays medical bills and searches for a first-floor apartment better suited for his needs, Dan said.

Donations to help Tim Hoffman can be made here.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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