Stephen Piscotty's mother passes away a year after ALS diagnosis -

Stephen Piscotty's mother dies less than a year after ALS diagnosis

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ST. LOUIS ( -- Gretchen Piscotty, mother of former Cardinal outfielder Stephen Piscotty, has died, according to ESPN.

Gretchen was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in May of 2017. Piscotty stepped away from the team for nearly a week to be with her after the diagnosis, eventually making her condition public when he returned.

ESPN recently released a short documentary on Piscotty and his his mother, focusing on their relationship as they confronted the finite time remaining to find moments together. 

ALS is a degenerative disease that attacks the body’s nerves and muscles. Sufferers gradually lose control of their motor functions, making day-to-day life harder to manage. The average lifespan of a patient diagnosed with ALS is less than five years.

In December of 2017, the Cardinals traded Piscotty to Oakland; a move designed, in part, to get him closer to his mother. Oakland is driving distance from the Piscotty family home in Pleasanton, California, and the 27-year-old was able to spend much more of Gretchen’s final months nearby than if he had remained in St. Louis.

Piscotty told the San Francisco Chronicle at the time of the trade that being able to aid in his mother’s care was “priceless.”

Piscotty made his MLB debut with the Cardinals in 2015, and hit .305 with seven homers and 39 RBI in 63 games. He finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting.

Since his trade to Oakland he has spent as much time with his mother as possible, often playing guitar versions of songs she used to play for him when he was a child.

She passed away Sunday night. She is survived by her husband Michael and her three sons, Stephen, Austin and Nick. She was 55.

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