BAINBRIDGE, Ga. — Angelo “Andy” Koundourakis sold his boat because, after being diagnosed with ALS, he feared he would fall into the water and be unable to get back in the boat. Yet he still plans on fishing his club’s tournaments.
The Hydrilla Gnats B.A.S.S. Nation club member was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in April 2014. As the disease progressed and he grew weaker, Koundourakis decided to seek stem cell treatment in Mexico this past November.
“He was declining pretty quickly,” said his wife, Patty. “He was getting really pale and you could really see it was taking its toll on him.”
Before the treatment, Koundourakis lost the use of his left hand and was unable to lift his arms over his head. His doctor told him the treatment would take three to six months to take effect.
“We are starting to see little things so it is giving us hope,” Patty said.
Her husband has regained his color and the use of his left hand now.
“I don’t know if the treatment is going to help me out or not, but I am going to keep trying to fish,” said Koundourakis, who has qualified for eight B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisionals and fished in Bassmaster Southern Opens.
“I am going to fish the club and try to qualify for the state championship and just do the best I can.”
The Bainbridge community helped Koundourakis with medical expenses by performing Ice Bucket Challenges in his honor. Kerry “Gale” Goodman, one of the owners at Wingate’s Lunker Lodge on Lake Seminole, held a fundraiser spaghetti supper for him and has also set up a GoFundMe page to raise donations online.