Paying It Forward With Big Fat Love

Frank Teixeira has Lou Gehrig's disease and may lose his home

Frank Teixeira cannot talk, walk or move his arms. His communication is limited but his favorite saying is being heard loud and clear in Point Loma -- "big fat love."

Frank has ALS -- often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" - and needs help to save his home. He explained to us what "big fat love" means though a machine that talks for him.

"People helping people for no reason," he said.

That's exactly why his young neighbor, 13-year-old Daniel Wheeler, decided to organize a massive garage sale Saturday and Sunday and get the whole neighborhood involved.

"He's a friend, he has Lou Gehrig's disease, and so I like to help him. I mow his lawn too," Wheeler said.

The eighth grader isn't the only one helping out. His coworkers at Donovan State Prison donate their time to help Frank who needs 24 hour live-in care. His friends said his insurance doesn't cover Lou Gehrig's disease and he doesn't get any help from the government.

"I like to do it on my own and I don't qualify anyway. But I need help; my friends are helping me a lot," Frank said through his machine.

Robby Roberts was a coworker and a good friend who was instrumental in getting help for Frank. She passed away two weeks ago from a heart attack. In her passing, she made one last contribution.

"She donated all of her belongings to Frank, so this is a lot of her stuff," Wheeler said pointing to the garage sale items.

"Look at the beautiful things for my daughter; a little tea set and for my son some all star cookie cutters," neighbor Gail Zerbe said as she handed over her money.

Frank used to be an avid surfer who loved the beach, fishing and motorcycles.

"He loved to do all those things and this disease has taken all of that away from him," said Dina Alvarez, who has known him since junior high school.

Alvarez said there is a very real possibility that Frank might lose his house if he doesn't get help, and if the shoe were on the other foot, he would help his friends in a heartbeat.

"He would do the same thing for any one of us here, so we want to do whatever we can to help him out and lift his spirits," she said. "He's just very generous and giving and he's always been there for other people when they've needed something, just to lend a helping hand. If they needed money for something, he's just always been very gracious."

Saturday's garage sale raised more than $2,000 for Frank. Another garage sale was under way Sunday morning at 1612 Chatsworth Blvd in Point Loma.

You can help Frank by making a donation at or buy merchandise online, like t-shirts with these quotes printed on them:

"You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay, but the privilege of doing it." -- Albert Schweitzer

Said more simply … “Big Fat Love”. -- Frank Teixeira.

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