Haverhill’s ‘Michael Recycle’ on a Mission to Fight ALS

Michael Faucher, aka "Michael Recycle" counting cans in his grandparents garage after last year's can drive. (Photo courtesy of Julia Faucher)

Michael "Recycle" Faucher has collected over 60,000 cans so far in his mission to raise money for ALS.
(Photo courtesy of Julia Faucher)

You’d be amazed at how much money you can collect by saving up bottles and cans.

That has been the experience of Michael Faucher, aka Michael Recycle, a Haverhill 11-year-old on a mission to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Faucher’s mother, Julia, was close friends with Kevin Gosnell, a Hanover man who founded the charity organization ALS One after being diagnosed with the disease in May 2015. The organization’s goal is to find a treatment or a cure for ALS by 2020 and was formed after Gosnell invited the top ALS researchers to meet and work together rather than working in isolation.

The older Faucher joined the ALS One team that year and the group began fundraising for the 2016 Falmouth Road Race. Gosnell died in August 2016, just 16 months after he was diagnosed. She said, “I saw him 6 days before he passed away at his house for a Falmouth get together and then a week or so after that was the Falmouth Road Race so he didn’t quite make it to his first race… He was with us in spirit that day. That’s for sure.”

For 2017, the Faucher’s added a can drive, a lemonade stand and raffles to their fundraising efforts and were amazed by the amount of money they were able to raise.

“The bottle and can drive was Michael’s thing ‘cuz we call him Michael Recycle. So we ended up counting over 41,000 bottles and cans that first year that we did it, which was last year, and crazily raised over $20,000 which we just were blown away by, and a bunch of that, of course, was from bottles and cans,” Faucher told WHAV.

A can drive is scheduled for May 19 in Duxbury, but arrangements can be made with the Faucher's to drop off or pick up cans locally. (Photo courtesy of Julia Faucher)

After the event, they never really stopped collecting cans. People kept dropping cans off in their driveway and at the house in Duxbury where her parents live. They started a Facebook page and began posting messages every time they reached another $50 milestone. In this way, Michael Recycle has added another 20,000 cans to their total with quite a ways to go to this year’s Falmouth Road Race in September, which he intends to run with his mom this year.

Faucher, who attends the Kittredge school in North Andover where his mom is a guidance counselor for the district, told WHAV why it’s important to him, "it's important to me because it's important to my mom to keep fundraising for Kevin. To keep his spirit alive."

The mother-son team have a can drive scheduled for May 19 with the Duxbury Police but cans can be dropped off locally by contacting the Faucher’s through Facebook by typing Michael Recycle into the search bar. Cash donations can also be made by following the link:  www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/julianightingale-faucher/FalmouthRoadRace2018

The Faucher’s told WHAV now that they started, they intend to continue their mission as long as necessary. “Michael’s been awesome, supporting me and supporting the cause and we said we’re just gonna keep on doing it until we, hopefully, find a cure.”