Every day an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS. That's more than 5,600 a year. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has certainly helped draw attention back to this horrid disease, but here are some ways you can contribute to an amazing man from Long Branch who is suffering, and help find the search for a cure.

Tommy Mastro was a drummer who grew up in Long Branch. For years, he was a fixture of the New Jersey music scene and played with many local bands. He once opened for Bruce Springsteen at the Meadowlands.

Tommy attended Long Branch Middle School and Long Branch High School. He is now 51 years old and using a wheelchair, but still has his speech. And he is using it to spread the word that your prayers and your ice bucket challenges and your contributions toward finding a cure for ALS are all appreciated more than you can even know. CLICK HERE to see Tommy and hear him speak in his own words.

Tommy once toured with his band The Discontent, sharing the stage with the Goo Goo Dolls, Dee Schneider, Joan Jett, and so many more. Locally, he played with Brian Kirk and the Jirks, Pat Roddy, and many others. And he taught for years at the Musician's Workshop in Manalapan.

Everybody who has come in contact with Tommy loves him. He is, unfortunately, no longer able to play the drums, and has moved to Florida to be closer to his family and get the care and support that he needs.

Now you can help Tommy as he bravely deals so gracefully with such a scary disease. He is just one among so many who our hearts go out to each and every day as they struggle through this nightmare and pray for a cure.

With ALS (sometimes called Lou Gehrig's Disease), nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord gradually degenerate, eventually causing weakened muscles. Over time, ALS affects most voluntary muscles in the body and, in later stages, the muscles used for breathing are affected.

There is no known cure or treatment for ALS. Currently there are only experimental procedures, like stem cell, not covered by insurance, so it's costly.

Tommy Mastro would like you to know that you can make a donation by CLICKING HERE to help fund research for a cure.

In order to assist Tommy with his medical care, some local friends of his are arranging two upcoming fundraisers that you are invited to attend:

The first is coming up on Wednesday, August 27th, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Styling Company, 902 Main Street in Belmar. As part of their tenth anniversary celebration, they are selling tickets for a night of complimentary blowouts and makeup, hot stone neck and hand massages, brow threading, prizes, music, food and wine, with proceeds going to Together For Tommy. CLICK HERE for details, or call 732-280-2511.

The second event is at the Headliner in Neptune on Sunday, Sept. 7th, 2014, from 1 pm - 5 pm featuring ASAP Band with special guests the Robert Ender Band with an all-star open jam. A $20 donation at the door will go to benefit Together for Tommy.