Back Story...

Welcome to ALS Bros!

This is the journey of 3 lifelong friends. Along the way, we encounter more than our share of ALS.

Because ALS is tortuous for everyone involved, I suspend realities that are detrimental to my amusement and emotional well-being. If anyone else enjoys ALSBros, that's gravy 😉

"Finally. A satirical resource for family & friends who want to be supportive - but don't necessarily want to get ALS themselves."

-Treg Charlton, Publisher

Chapter 1

This is the mostly-true tale of Treg, Barry and Jack, 3 streetwise teens who survived the 1980’s in Ohio using only their wits, a green Puch moped and a borrowed gas charge card. (Before I go further, I should mention that we had amazing, resilient parents.

Fun-loving and carefree since junior high, anyone could have predicted one would contract an unusual disease.  No one guessed sporadic ALS. Or that two would get it.  This is a glimpse of life before Barry’s 12-year battle… Treg’s 12+ years. And Jack’s, before he became a full-time advocate for ALS-related causes.

Still, ALSBros is mostly about Treg making fun of Jack and Barry. And trying to bring a smile to the faces of those who care for us.

Did You Know?  Barry’s nickname was changed from ‘Beef’ to ‘Beave’ after he, Treg and Jack acted together in the 1984 production of Leave It To Beaver for a high school talent show. Barry starred as the title character, while Treg was spot-on as Edward Haskell. Although the play was applauded by critics, Jack was savaged by audiences for his decision to re-imagine Ward Cleaver as a non-inclusive white supremacist. Subel never acted again.

Did You Know?  Barry prepped at Ohio University and Jack at Vermont Academy, before joining Treg for their sophomore years at The Ohio State University. Deep down, Treg always believed both men needed to grow up a little bit to survive the rigors of such a large and prestigious institution.

University Life

Though chided by peers for focusing so heavily on academics, the friends still found time to eat and perform an occasional good deed, such as the time they repurposed a grill from a nearby State park. Technically it was still a grill, but now the trio could grill in their own yard.

In an unceremonious end to stellar academic careers, the men and 5 housemates were asked to find new accommodations 1 month prior to graduation. Remarkably, the landlord stated in court the front-yard concert, beer truck and pig roast weren’t driving the eviction. Rather, it was a small fire in the parking lot that occurred after the friends had called it a night.

To this day, Treg and Jack remain convinced University of Michigan students were to blame for the suspicious blaze. 

The Salad Days

Real life was launched from a small apartment in Cleveland. Barry landed a punishing gig, peddling Dictaphones door-to-door. Jack went into plastics. Treg put serious thought into becoming a world-class ski instructor. With no background in skiing, however, he ultimately took a low-paying gig editing books.

The period between 1992 and 2005 became a bit of a blur – in the best possible way – as the trio became fathers and poured their energies into careers and family life.

By 2003, all three had married, bought homes, changed jobs 20 times and combined to produce 7 healthy kids. Jack even found time to pick up an MBA at Case Western. Prior to this, Subel lacked fundamental business sense, as evidenced by his haste to marry. 

Did You Know?  Barry, Treg and Jim lived together on Cleveland’s Shaker Square after graduating college. Each man had a car stolen during this period. Finally, in 1993, Jack decided to blow up the only life the men had ever known, by announcing his half-baked intention to take a bride.

ALS Bros | Als walk 01

Did You Know?  Treg initially suspected Barry’s wife of spreading ALS. “All I know is, I show up to support Barry in a Walk in 2006 (above). Kelley was coughing a lot. Then, 4 years later I test positive. Coincidence? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.”

Note: As early as 1901, scientists knew ALS could not be transmitted through the air. Treg was not aware of this and has apologized to Mrs. Winovich several times.

Terrific. What's ALS?

The future came into focus one night in 2005. Treg distinctly recalled being at Barry’s house watching a ballgame, when he motioned to him and said, “Look at my bicep twitching. It never stops. And now that you’re up, would you mind grabbing me a Rolling Rock?”

Barry’s mystery illness took over a year to diagnose. Doctor’s gave him 2-5 years. With no time to waste, Jack and Barry assembled and mobilized an impressive team of individuals for what would become The Bright Side of the Road Foundation. The goal was to establish a permanent research chair at The Cleveland Clinic.

Sensing that sort of scratch would require countless hours at a variety of awkward social events, Treg immediately grabbed his family and bolted to Kansas City. The Charlton’s enjoyed living in relative anonymity until Treg’s 2010 diagnosis.

Bright Side of the Road

If you’ve ever attempted to raise $1,000 for charity, you still can’t imagine how much work and creative genius is involved in getting to $2 Million. From scratch. For a little-understood disease. Before the whole Ice-Bucket Challenge phenomena.

The small, tight-knit crew orchestrated over 60 events in 20 cities, ultimately surpassing their goal by over $300K in under 5 years. Everything from bike rides to golf outings – and a ton of guest-bartender events in between!  Other charities sought advice from Bright Side, hoping to duplicate that magic. Jack often said, “The secret sauce is Barry. That guy spent his whole life nurturing friendships. People wanted to return the love.”

It’s worth mentioning that Jack and the other Board members had day jobs and families to support throughout the Bright Side years.

Did You Know?  Barry was suffering indignities well before his formal diagnosis with ALS. More than one waiter refused to serve him, due his badly slurred speech and disheveled appearance.  Adding insult to injury, school officials informed Kelley that Barry had shown up in an apparent stupor, wanting to drive their children home.

Today, Jack admits to tipping waiters extra for refusing Barry’s requests for alcohol. Also, I made up the part about his disheveled appearance. After meeting Kelley, Barry’s grooming habits and wardrobe were radically overhauled. 

Did You Know?  While sightseeing in Boston prior to the Researching a Cure check presentation at Fenway Park, a pickpocket lifted Barry’s wallet – out of the backpack on his wheelchair! The perp was later captured on security cameras purchasing gift cards. With Barry’s credit card. At a CVS/pharmacy!

Amazing Grace & CVS

One evening in 2006, Treg specifically prayed to God for “something important to do, like Barry.” In an astonishingly literal demonstration of divine intervention, Treg was soon offered a position in Kansas working for a wonderful, Christian real estate developer. Later, his dream job opened up when CVS needed a real estate director for an 8-state territory, based in Kansas City.

When diagnosed with ALS in 2010, CVS, coincidentally, was already the nation’s largest corporate sponsor for ALS research. Immediately, CVS welcomed Treg into the fold, raising awareness. This led to three years of service as an  honorary Co-Spokesperson for their Researching a Cure campaign. In 2011, Barry and Treg served together as campaign co-spokesmen. In those 3 years, CVS customers donated over $12 Million to help fund a cure! Thanks, Anna, Wayne, JP, Doug, Dale, Craig, Gabe, Bev, Jennifer, et al in KC!


By 2011, the trio were back where it all began. Treg was still with CVS, while Barry and Jack kept extremely busy with dozens more Bright Side events.

Treg ‘retired’ in late 2013 at the age of 47. By 2015, Treg and Barry were both in wheelchairs. Around this time, people (Jack) began to openly question whether either man would ever succumb. Even though Barry had ALS since ’06, some (Jack) wagered Treg would drop dead from a heart attack, given his devotion to Popeye’s, White Castle, Skyline and Long John Silver’s. 

Short on fuel, Barry spent most of his time at a computer, contemplating which concerts to attend. Treg was also at the computer, crafting much of the questionable content that appears in the Galleries section of

In 2017, just over a month after turning 51, Barry peacefully passed into Heaven – having endured almost 12 years with ALS. He & Jack somehow made having ALS a bit more tolerable. The ALS Bros website is dedicated to Barry, Jack and Treg’s family. And lifelong friendships.

Strange?  Barry briefly dated Jack’s future wife during college.  Even More Strange?  Treg introduced Barry to his future wife after meeting her at The Greenville Inn.  The Strangest? Always the consummate wingman, Barry brokered the initial conversation between Treg and his future wife… at The Greenville Inn!

Ecclesiastes 4:9,10,12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.