Brooklyn Heights man with ALS wrote Cleveland Cavaliers song, working on Indians tribute

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - When the Cavaliers brought the first NBA Championship home to Cleveland for the first time in decades and the Indians went to the World Series, the world was watching and so was one of the biggest pro-Ohio sports fans ever-- Joe Carnivale of Brooklyn Heights.

When you ask Carnivale what he thinks of the Indians this season, he'll give you a strong thumbs up.

Carnivale was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, two years ago. The progression of ALS hasn't dampened his spirit or enthusiasm for his beloved Cavs and Indians.

He was wearing his Tribe gear when we arrived to interview him about the song he recently produced with his music therapist, Brooke Baker, a certified music therapist from the Hospice of the Western Reserve. The song is for the Cavs and he is now working on one for the Indians.

Carnivale speaks through an app on his phone.

"This is a legacy for my life's work," he said.

Carnivale is a poet - has been all his life. He and his music therapist put a poem he wrote for the Cavs to music.

The beginning of the song goes like this:

"Cleveland walking cocky - there's a swagger in our stride out there for the world to see - something we can't hide."

Now the two are working on putting a poem written for the Indians to music, too.

"I'm happy that my dad has this outlet because, you know, even in these sad times and not necessarily the best times, he has something that can perk him up and keep him happy," said Alyssa Carnivale, Joe's daughter.

His beloved Indians were touched by his story and as an early birthday gift, the organization gave him a baseball signed by his favorite player Corey Kluber.

Carnivale left us with this final thought that goes deeper than his hopes for another shot for his team at the World Series.

"Keep the faith and finish strong," said Carnivale through the app on his phone.

Like the great athletes he follows in Cleveland sports, it appears, Carnivale is doing just that -- finishing strong.

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